Friday, September 22, 2017

What foreigners?

A new study shows that while Muslim immigrants integrate well in their countries of residence in the EU, they still experience a lot of discrimination. The study focuses on first- and second-generation immigrants – for example, people who were born in another country and moved to Germany and their children, who were born in Germany. The people surveyed have roots in many different regions around the world: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Turkey. 

The majority of Muslims in the European Union feel at home in the countries they live in is one of the key findings in a study released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) . 

"Our survey results make a mockery of the claim that Muslims aren't integrated into our societies," FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty said. "On the contrary, we see a trust in democratic institutions that is higher than much of the general population."

76 percent of participants said they felt strongly attached to the country they live in. Many also report having a strong trust in institutions like the police and parliament. Only around 2 percent of all participants reported not feeling attached at all. Second-generation immigrants report slightly higher levels of attachment – they feel at home in the country where they were born.

The majority of survey participants reported they feel at home in the place where they live now. In Sweden, the average answer came up to almost 5, the highest score representing a very strong attachment. In Italy, Muslim immigrants were the least enthusiastic, reporting an average attachment to their home country of only 3.3.

Almost 40 percent of Muslims surveyed for the FRA study said they had experienced discrimination in their daily life over the past five years. Areas, where discrimination occurred, include the job and apartment hunt, work, and contact with teachers. 

Numbers vary strongly from country to country, however. In Malta, only 3 percent of Muslims polled said they had been discriminated against because of their religion, but 18 percent reported discrimination based on their ethnic origin or immigrant background. Ten percent of Muslims in the UK had experienced discrimination based on their immigrant background. In Greece, that number was 52 percent. In Germany, 16 percent of Muslims polled had experienced discrimination because of their religion, and 17 percent because of their immigrant background.

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