Which Muslim majority countries are immigration friendly?


Nina Clara Tiesler

To person

Dr. phil., born 1968; Religious scholar, research assistant at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Av. Prof. AnĂ­bal Bettencourt, 9, 1600 - 189 Lisbon / Portugal.
Email: [email protected]

While Muslim discourses focus on European realities, there has been an Islamization of public and academic debates in Europe - and not just since September 11th.


Since the end of the Second World War, the number of immigrants and post-colonial settlers from Islamic societies in Europe has been growing. At least fifteen million people live in the current borders of the European Union (EU) who are counted as Muslims on the basis of their religious convictions, their socio-political statements or mostly simply based on their geographical origin or family ancestry. [1] The number of German, French, British etc. citizens of the Islamic faith as well as the number of second and third generations born in Europe are constantly increasing. How is the Islamic religion and religiosity developing among the new members of society with a Muslim background, among the Muslim communities and movements that live in European societies today?

The question is whether the former immigrants from Islamic countries and their descendants are practicing, convinced, religious, active, moderate, fanatical, fundamentalist, moderate or nominal Muslims, Islamists, neo-Muslims, Muslims of origin or culture relatively young. During the first twenty to thirty years since the beginning of the decolonization process and the arrival of the first "guest workers", it was not provided at all in Western Europe - and neither were the initially mainly male immigrants, whose stay was temporarily incorrect both by themselves and from outside perceived as Muslims, but mostly in their economic function (eg as "guest workers") and / or in national categories. [2]

Academic research saw, apart from a few representatives of the disciplines explicitly concerned with religion, no reason to attach particular importance to Islam in the integration processes; [3] on the one hand, because the "object group", which is rightly not yet religiously defined, has no publicly visible signs of Religiousness showed, [4] on the other hand, because the public and scientific interest in post-war and post-colonial Europe did not focus on religion. In the 1970s, questions related to religion were still out of fashion, which should not stay that way [5] - on the contrary: In the case of Islam in particular, they seem to be among the most burning questions in Western European public opinion and social research today. How can the upswing of this "Muslim factor" be explained?