Brussels/London: British Council debates on European Muslims

Brussels/London: British Council debates on European Muslims


Europe is Failing its Muslims


Tuesday, 23rd February 2010, 6:45 PM - 8:30 PM
Cadogan Hall, London


The British Council in conjunction with Intelligence Squared organise a free debate:



We hear endlessly in the media that European Muslims are failing to integrate; that they should stop wearing the burka and building mosques with minarets; that like the rest of us, they must learn to tolerate insults to their religion however painful that may be. But isn’t the boot really on the other foot? By constantly criticising their traditions and beliefs and insisting they be more like the rest of us, aren’t we breaching our own hallowed principle of live and let live? Far from Muslims failing to be good Europeans, isn’t it Europe that is acting illiberally and giving a raw deal to its Muslim citizens?



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Europe's Muslim Women: under cover and under pressure?


British Council debate organised in partnership with the European Policy Centre and the European Muslim Network.


Tuesday, 16th March 2010, 10-12 hrs, Brussels, Hotel Stanhope


The integration of European Muslims is the subject of intense debate across the European Union and within Europe's Muslim community. Discussions get especially intense - and often acrimonious - when it comes to the integration of Europe's Muslim women, with many policymakers and politicians denouncing the decision by some women to wear the head scarf or burqa and the prevailing perception of Muslim women as victims of a repressive religion.


Europe's Muslim women are undoubtedly pulled in many directions: by traditions which often dictate conservative dress codes and conduct, strong familial and cultural obligations, but also pressure from the larger community to be seen as visibly liberated, modern and empowered.

The debate – and the stereotypes – ignore, however, the more complex economic, social and cultural challenges facing millions of European Muslim women as they struggle to become active citizens of the countries they live in. Could it be that, despite the clich├ęs and the hype, Muslim women often share the same aspirations and face the same struggle for better education, jobs and social recognition as their non-Muslim counterparts?


To address these relevant issues as part of the Our Shared Europe project, we will hear from a panel of guest speakers. The debate will be chaired by Shada Islam, Senior Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre (EPC).


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