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PM "Muslims in Hamburg"
Muslims in Hamburg Feel Closer Ties to Their City Than Germany, Says New Research
Hamburg credited for creating inclusive environment for migrant populations, <center>but spike in violence increases Islamophobia in Germany’s second-largest city </center>
Luis Montero, +44 77 9873 7516, email@example.com
Klaus Dik Nielsen, +44 79 1769 5286, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAMBURG 29 June 2010 — Muslims in Hamburg enjoy a strong sense of community, but feel alienated from Germany after recent attacks, according to a report released today by the At Home in Europe project of the Open Society Institute.
The study, a culmination of more than two years of research, explores the everyday experiences of Muslims in the district of Hamburg-Mitte, with a particular focus on public policies that improve integration.
“Hamburg’s rich history of immigration has created a city where there is increased acceptance and inclusion of Muslims in key political and public institutions,” said Nazia Hussain, director of OSI’s At Home in Europe project.
“Despite these successes, recent violent attacks in Hamburg have heightened hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Citizens of Hamburg need to realize that discrimination exists in their city, especially in the school system. Passing new anti-discrimination legislation and developing awareness campaigns are two ways to address this problem,” said Hussain.
Key findings include:
- Both Muslims and non-Muslims in Hamburg see lack of language skills as the main obstacle to being German. For Muslims, “not being Christian” is seen as the second main barrier to being German.
- Religious discrimination is perceived by Muslims to be an important barrier to academic achievement.
- Visible forms of faith can be a barrier to employment in public professional careers, including teaching and policing.
- While Muslims in Hamburg indicate a high level of trust in the police, they also report being stopped and questioned frequently by the police due to profiling based on their ethnicity or religion
- Muslims criticized the media for sensationalist and hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. Despite recent attempts at more balanced reporting, Muslim voices remain largely absent in Hamburg’s various media organizations.
The Muslims in Hamburg report involved in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with Muslim residents, local government officials, Muslim leaders, academics, journalists, and activists in the district of Hamburg-Mitte.
This study is part of a series of monitoring reports entitled ”Muslims in EU Cities”. The series focuses on eleven cities in the European Union with significant Muslim populations: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leicester, Marseille, Paris, Rotterdam, Stockholm and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Muslims in Hamburg is available online at www.soros.org/initiatives/home
Active in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities, the Open Society Institute supports justice and human rights, freedom of expression and access to public health and education.