French Muslims of Algerian descent, many of whom, like footballer Zinedine Zidane, are Berber and not Arab, are far more secular and likely to marry out than other Muslim groups. Over half of Franco-Algerian men marry non-Muslims and 60 per cent of French people with at least one Algerian parent say they have no religion. In Germany, Iranian Muslims, many of whom come from anti-Islamist families, tend to be less religious than other groups. A third claim to be completely secular and almost three-quarters never attend religious events. Balkan and central Asian Muslims in Germany also tend to be less religious. But even within Muslim ethnic groups, the study finds an important polarisation between the devout who pray daily and the equally large number who never pray. This divide maps on to fertility: the most devout Muslim women in Europe are 40 per cent more likely than the least pious to bear three or more children. In the large cities of the Muslim world, women most in favour of sharia bear twice as many children as those most opposed.This last point is an important one, because France has had for a long time a policy of allowing "no-go" zones--immigrant enclaves where the police don't go, permitting those residents to organize their own lives as they see fit. This is a point made a few years ago by Christopher Caldwell in his book on "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West," and it has come up repeatedly in articles published by the Gatestone Institute in New York. In other words, rather than encouraging and facilitating adaptation, integration, and assimilation, France has had an implicit policy that encourages separateness. This is very likely to encourage more traditional behavior in these neighborhoods, possibly even including the local imposition of Sharia Law, as Fox News has claimed. I do not know, of course, that any of this played a specific role in the recent shootings in Paris, but it seems to me that this sets up a situation that breaks the bonds that might exist between immigrants, and especially the children of immigrants, and the host society, thus increasing the chances that anti-social attacks might take place.
This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.
If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: email@example.com
Saturday, January 10, 2015
What's Going on With Muslims in France?
The recent shootings in Paris have raised once again the question of the integration--or lack thereof--of Muslims in France. And, of course, they came on the heels of anti-immigrant rallies in Germany. In this context, Abu Daoud brought an article to my attention that speaks to some of these issues. It was written by Eric Kaufman of Birkbeck College, University of London back in 2010, but most of the facts are unlikely to have changed much in the meantime. I commented on Kaufman's book--referenced in his article--a few months ago and so here I will focus on the things he says about France.