Introduction

 

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 Aspects to bear in mind when analysing the Islam in Europe:

 

Country    
Num. of  people
France    
Five millions
Germany    
Three millions
U.K.    
Two millions
Spain    
More than five hundred thousands


1.    The French model: (Assimilation model); the fundamental aspect of this model is the immigrant as an individual.
2.    The English model: It intends the integration of the whole community.


Consequently, each country is looking its own way of integration, its own model which must take into account:

•    International legislation:   – Vienna 1.989 – Copenhagen: 1.991 –   where there is a clear reference to the protection of the Rights of the different cultural, religious and ethnic minorities.
•    Analyse the previous experience of other countries which belong to the European Community and try to gain solutions according to their own situation.

    At present in Europe, it is being developed a model which could be considered and hybrid. There is a secular framework which distinguishes between religion and politics. It is respectful with the Muslim individual rights and takes into account the necessities of the Islamic community. It wants to keep the social values of the local community, but at the same time letting the minority/immigrants to maintain their values.

    Stéphane Lathión has written a report “The Islam in Europe, Reciprocal Rights and Responsibilities”. The author deals with the problematic situation of the Muslims communities in European societies. The study insists in two important aspects:

1.    Religious freedom.
2.    Europe is a chance for the Islam and Muslims, due to:
o    Warrantee of individual freedom for everybody: free conscious, thinking and expression.
o     Right to receive education. Children can receive the benefits of the compulsory education. It also respects the origin of those minorities/immigrants giving them the chance to keep their culture and learn the new one.
o    Right of free association. Muslims can create new associations which will contribute to preserve their culture (through mosque, Arab – Islamic lessons, Cultural and sport activities…..)
 

     Stéphane Lathión proposes that Islam belong to our European culture and we have to find the best way to live together.
The problem is not the legal system, but the prejudices and the mentalities towards the religion in general, and the Islam in particular. One of the possible answers is the awareness of the rights that European have, and at the same time, these rights give us some obligations and responsibilities towards these new citizens.


     Daniel Tarschys (Deputy Manager of  the European Counsel) wrote “A country which is unable to live within the diversity and to integrate their citizens into a framework of respect, is doomed to the disintegration”.  
Human rights don't have geographical or temporal barriers.


     Shortly there will be a question to be answer:  What is the new concept of a European Muslim? The Muslim presence will force the Europeans to be respectful in terms of ethnic, religion and culture.    These minorities/immigrants will give the new cultural pluralism to Europe.


     We should promote human rights through the education and to learn to live together. It would be worthy to foment the knowledge of each other and to find the cultural similarities and differences. Promoting the realization of common activities would help to avoid racism and xenophobia; it would eliminate the fear to the unknown.  


        More information can be found in:
  
•    http://www.islam-guide.com/ .-Short guie to learn the Islam.
•    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/index.shtml .- 
•    http://www.webislam.com/index.htm .- Digital magazine.
•  http://www.musulmanesandaluces.org/hemeroteca/34/libertad_politica.htm  .-   An study about the political freedom and the Islam
•    http://www.geaweb.org/06Soc/035.htm .-  Essay from  F. Javier Garisoain Otero.
•    http://www.lafactoriaweb.com/articulos/moreras9.htm .-  Essay about Muslims in Europe, by Jordi Moreras.
•    http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/prodi/articles/fiducia_es.htm .-  Article by Romano Prodi.
•  http://www.webislam.com/numeros/2000/00_3/Articulos%2000_3/Islam_Europa.htm .-  Article of Stéphane Lathión about  Islam in Europe , rights and mutual responsibilities.
•  http://geobuzon.fcs.ucr.ac.cr/islam.html .- Article about Islam , politic and modernity  by Professor Enrique Zapata  Costa Rica's University.
•   http://www.webcciv.org/islam/al_islam_historia_islam.htm .-  Web page from the Cultural Centre of Valencia.

 

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