Denmark: Muslims' religiosity exaggerated

Researchers prefer to speak with the very religious Muslims, when surveying Muslim's religiosity, and that distorts the public debate, concludes a new study.

Muslims are not as religious as the media and researchers tell us, says religious history and minority studies researchers Nadia Jeldtoft, who has studies minorities' religious identity. She thinks that Islam researchers confirm the prejudices against Muslims when they focus only on the 600-800 Muslim immigrants who are organized in associations and organizations of a religious character.

She says analysis of interviews show that the interviewees didn't attribute such a critical meaning to the religious, as most studies concluded. For them being Muslims meant being different than the majority - the religious content wasn't as dominating. She adds that she's not a Muslim lover (halal-hippie) who denies that there are many fanatical Muslims, but she says there are many who are Muslims just because they're part of an ethnic and cultural group.

Kate Østergaard, a lecturer at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen confirms the view of misleading research. She says the picture that the media paints of Muslims who are very religious is reinforced by the study of Islam. First and foremost because researchers of religion naturally focus on the religious, and therefore also on Muslims who are very religious. Additionally Islam researchers have a tendency to be interested in religiously organized youth because they are easier to count.

Tim Jensen of the Philosphoy, Pedagogy and Religion Studies Department at Syddansk University, thinks that it's the media and politicians who bear the blame. He says the normal Muslim is like the normal Christian, also the passive cultural Christian, and when many think that Muslims are much more active, it's distorting reality, and that comes from the media and politicians.

Source: 180 Grader (Danish) h/t Dagens Ateist (Norwegian)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What happens in the muslim community is that it is the minority that holds sway over the majority. In Islamic countries it is the fundamentalists that interpret the Koran. It is they that hand down the fatwas. It is they who tell the majority they are not 'good' muslims if they do not tow the party line.
It can be compared to fascist countries where the majority are decent people but it is the minority who are in power and make decisions.