EU: No correlation between economic crisis and Islamophobia

EU: No correlation between economic crisis and Islamophobia

This article is mostly about the opposition to a minaret in Völklingen. I'd already written about that, but I thought this part deserved its own post.


Analysts say that strong social safety nets have kept intolerance toward Europe’s Muslims from growing significantly through the economic crisis, at least so far, with the worst sparring coming between countries — in particular Germany and Greece — rather than within them.

“Governments have been willing to cushion the blow and expand the deficits, so the debate has not heated up,” said Justin Vaïsse, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe, who studies Muslims in Europe. “You’re not looking at a 1930s situation where a social crisis derives from an economic crisis.”

Acrimonious debates and disputes over Islam — particularly the most visible manifestations like women wearing head scarves, veils and burqas and the construction of mosques — continue apace. But researchers have not seen a correlation between economic woes and Islamophobia.

“The economic crisis hit the immigrant population, many of them Muslims, harder than it did the majority population,” said

Werner Schiffauer, professor of social and cultural anthropology specializing in Muslim populations in Europe at the Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder. “As they are dependent on welfare benefits, there was the accusation of blaming them, in a way, that Islam is responsible for a lax working morale.”


Source: NY Times (English)

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