Tuesday, October 28, 2008

German Efforts Attempt to Stem Islamophobia

A further look at integration of Turkish immigrants in Germany from Fulya Özerkan at TDN:
With an overall population of about 82 million, Germany is home to about 15 million people of immigrant backgrounds, including 3.5 million Muslims – the majority of who are of Turkish origin. However, linking the immigration problem just to the size of the Turkish community could lead to unhealthy results. International developments may shape these perceptions.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. were a turning point, according to Bekir Alboğa of the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, or DİTİB.

“The situation for Muslims in Europe has been deteriorating since 9/11,” he said.

In the post-9/11 era, yet another development has fed the rising anti-Islamic sentiment worldwide. The killing in 2004 of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh after his film “Submission” triggered outrage among Muslims in the Netherlands, added to anti-Islamic sentiment and bolstered the tendency to associate Islam with violence. Van Gogh's murder opened the question of integration of around 1 million Muslims living in the Netherlands.

“The failure of integration in Holland has forced the German government to review its policy in that area,” said Oğuz Üçüncü, the secretary general of the Islamic Association Milli Görüş, or National View.

“Since then, the German government has started taking steps to center its integration policy on the maintenance of domestic security and assimilation,” said Üçüncü.

Despite the criticisms, the German government's better-late-than-never efforts to change perceptions of immigrants are inspiring people to keep searching for a solution to problems of integration.
For full article, click here.

No comments: