Resilient Islam meets a resistant mainstream: persistent "barriers" in public attitudes over religious rights for Muslims in European countries

Statham, Paul (2018) Resilient Islam meets a resistant mainstream: persistent "barriers" in public attitudes over religious rights for Muslims in European countries. In: Bozorgmehr, Mehdi and Kasinitz, Philip (eds.) Growing up Muslim in Europe and the United States. Studies in Migration and Diaspora . Routledge, New York, NY 10017, pp. 39-56. ISBN 9781138242166

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Abstract

This chapter examines the strength of “symbolic barriers” between majorities and Muslims of immigrant origin over the accommodation of Islam as a minority religion in their European countries of settlement. The study uses original survey data on public attitudes towards religious rights in schooling in four countries with distinct church-state relations and minority policies: Britain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. We find highly significant “barriers” over religious rights for Muslims in all countries, notwithstanding the different degrees to which they institutionally accommodate Islam. In addition, the strength of majority opposition towards including Islam, compared to Christianity, is especially striking. Conversely, Muslims tend to favour an extension of rights for both religions to the same degree. Although European societies are broadly secular, we conclude that resistant majority views matter a great deal in creating a large socio-cultural distance between majorities and Muslims over accommodating Islam. This is especially the case in Britain, even though the state has been relatively accommodating to Islam. We think the existence of enduring strong “barriers” demarcating Muslims from the rest of society in the public imagination will importantly impact on the chances of the second generation to be full members of society, independently from socio-economic factors.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0621 Culture
H Social Sciences > HS Societies
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Paul Statham
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 11:10
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 11:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/77775

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