Saturday, December 23, 2006

Muslims in Europe

Julaybib has reported on the recently published report Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia, by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

It is very educative to read this in the context of the recently released report of the
Sachar Committee on socio-economic and education backwardness of Indian Muslims.

I reproduce below some of the key findings of the report on Europe.

Muslims, like other religious groups, remain inadequately recorded statistically and even demographic data relies often on unofficial estimates that vary, sometimes substantially. More international survey research is therefore essential particularly in order to record attitudes and the extent of Muslims’ victimisation.

Muslims are often victims of negative stereotyping, at times reinforced through negative or selective reporting in the media. In addition, they are vulnerable to manifestations of prejudice and hatred in the form of anything from verbal threats through to physical attacks on people and property.

Many Muslims, particularly young people, face limited opportunities for social advancement, social exclusion and discrimination which could give rise to hopelessness and alienation.

Research and statistical data – mostly ‘proxy’ data, referring to nationality and ethnicity – show that Muslims are often disproportionately represented in areas with poor housing conditions, while their educational achievement falls below average and their unemployment rates are higher than average. Muslims are often employed in jobs that require lower qualifications and as a group they are over-represented in low-paying sectors of the economy.

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