Avoiding the Salaam Witch Trials: Lessons the U.S. Should Learn from Europe About Welcoming Muslims
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 1, 2012
One journalist recently referred to Europe as “The Incredible Shrinking Continent,” citing studies that show declining populations in many European Union countries. If this trend continues, it would precipitate an EU-wide net decline as early as 2015. These projections suggest that, even as European distaste for and mistrust of immigration increases, immigrants are becoming ever more essential to Europe’s sustained economic prosperity. EU officials suggest the number of immigrants living in EU countries will need to crest 50 million by the year 2050. In short, Europe may not like immigrants, but it needs them. And the problem will not go away unless it takes economic prosperity with it.
Against this backdrop, this paper looks across the Atlantic at the Muslim immigrant communities of Europe and the challenges unique to their place in an ever-changing sociopolitical environment. It focuses on immigration-based issues including both illegal and legal immigration and changing citizenship requirements, especially in light of the tightening of policy since the global recession in 2008. It also discusses the importance and pitfalls of government-sponsored cultural integration. In doing so, this paper takes an issue-by-issue approach, looking first to the countries of the European Union, then discussing how the United States can learn lessons from the successes and failures of the EU in each area.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: immigration, Europe, Islam, Muslim, migrantsworking papers series
Date posted: March 2, 2012
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