How cities help immigrants feel at home: 4 charts

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As anti-immigrant sentiment erupts in Western democracies from Germany to the United States, some cities are still finding ways to make immigrants feel at home.

I conducted hundreds of interviews with immigrants in New York, Paris and Barcelona intermittently for over a decade to understand how each city integrates – or excludes – its migrants.

My new book, “A Place to Call Home,” explains why some cities and their residents do better at incorporating foreign-born newcomers in the local economy, culture and politics.

A feeling of belonging

On the surface, immigration in these three cities looks quite different.

Over one-third of all New Yorkers were born abroad, the majority of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Paris, where 20 percent of the population is foreign-born, most immigrants and their children come from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and other former French colonies in North Africa.

Much of Barcelona’s immigrant population, around 17.8 percent of its total population, is Latin American or Moroccan.

Despite their diverse origins, the immigrants I spoke with consistently cited the same elements as being critical to their sense of urban belonging, helping them to feel “at home” while working, socializing and raising a family in the city.

New York and Barcelona, it turns out, foster this sense of belonging more than Paris does.

Nearly 70 percent of the first-generation Latino immigrants I interviewed in New York City feel that they are part of the community. Just under half of first-generation Moroccans in Barcelona felt that way. But only 19 percent of North Africans in Morocco feel like part of the community.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CONVERSATION 

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Muslim candidates rise above Trump hostility to focus on issues

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Deedra Abboud, an attorney, is competing for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in Arizona. She has never sought public office before. But she has become a fixture in national headlines – in part because of online vitriol generated by the fact she is a Muslim.

Abboud wears a headscarf. Slurs against her have included calling her a “towel head” and suggestions that Muslims should not serve in the US government.

Abboud told the Guardian she saw a “silver lining” in finally being noticed. But she also felt a familiar frustration. She is from Little Rock, Arkansas, as evidenced by her southern twang. Nonetheless, she has had to settle for being known as “the Muslim candidate”.

“I wear a scarf, I don’t want to hide it,” she said. “It’s something I want to take head-on. It’s just sometimes I think it’s relegated to only that.”

“We’re trying to change what leadership and power look like in this country,” said Fayrouz Saad, a 34-year-old from Michigan who if elected would become the first Muslim woman in the House of Representatives.

Nearly 100 Muslims are running for office at state and federal levels. Almost all are Democrats, few have held office before. Several who were interviewed by the Guardian said they did not want a disproportionate focus to be placed on their faith. Much like their opponents, they said, they wished to talk about the issues.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN 

How Trump changed Americans’ view of Islam – for the better

imrsPresident Trump is expected to announce a ban on Muslim immigrants into the United States. However, polls conducted in the last year show that, despite his electoral success, Trump’s views on Islam and Muslims do not have wide support among the American public.

Americans’ opposition to accepting refugees from Middle East conflicts have been highly exaggerated. As I noted last June, “even in the middle of a U.S. presidential campaign that has been breathtaking in its exaggerations and racism, with devastating terrorism providing fuel, 59 percent of Americans say they are ready to accept Middle East conflict refugees” assuming they are screened for security. As usual, Americans were deeply divided along partisan lines on this issue.

Four polls during the election year revealed extraordinary, progressive and unexpected shifts that cannot be explained by events during that year. Attitudes toward “Muslim people” became progressively more favorable from 53 percent in November 2015 to 70 percent in October 2016.

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FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

Utah Muslims face challenges in America, but love its freedom

dt-common-streams-streamserverFreedom, fear, hope and cynicism.

Those are just some of the feelings Muslims in this country cope with 15 years after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

The lives of Muslims in America encompass a complex set of social norms buffeted by political winds and fallout from terrorism.

For Amr Abdelghany, an initial visit to the United States from Egypt was the first time he felt free to practice his religion as he pleased. That was in North Carolina in 2009.

“The governments we see in the Middle East are using religion to control the people,” he said Monday at a panel discussion on the campus of the University of Utah hosted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “When you are not obeying the king or the president, you are not obeying Allah.”

He said it follows that those who oppose their governments — or others — would use religion to foment terror.

Conditions for Muslims in Utah are good, according to Abdelghany, who is the acting president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the U.

“In Utah, I haven’t faced any hate speech,” he said. “The people here are friendly, open-minded and very accepting of my religion.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE 

There Is No “Other” America

BY OMID SAFI (@OSTADJAAN),  COLUMNIST

the crowd goes wild
Taken at the 09/14 Donald Trump rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

“It is not American.”

That’s what most of my friends tell me when I tell them about the latest horrific comments made by Donald Trump, who at the moment appears to be heading towards being the Republican nominee for the highest office in the land. Even by the admittedly outrageous standards of Donald Trump, this seemed beyond the pale. Shooting Muslims by bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. This, not in an anonymous hate group website, but under the full glare of spotlights, from the mouth of the leading Presidential candidate, in a political rally.

This is America.

During a recent rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, Donald Trump talked about how he would protect Americans. To make his point, he told the story ofJohn Pershing, a U.S. general who took some 50 Muslims captive in the Philippines in the early 1900s:

“He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?”

As if the moral of the story was not clear enough, the GOP front-runnerreiterated the message for the mob crowd:

“We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.”

This is where we are as a nation. This is our America.

FULL ARTICLE FROM ONBEING.ORG

Christian-Muslim split on religious freedom

JOHNHere is a “mini” opinion piece I wrote for our local paper (link here) in response to the article linked below:

“A poll taken by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 82 percent of American Christians believe that Christians should have religious freedom, but only 61 percent believe the same for Muslims, 70 percent for Jews and 67 percent for Mormons. Abraham Lincoln, who understood well what freedom was about, would have taken exception to those who would deny freedom to religious minorities: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”

John Hubers

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american religionAmericans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey.

Solid majorities said it was extremely or very important for the U.S. to uphold religious freedom in general. However, the percentages varied dramatically when respondents were asked about specific faith traditions, according to a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Eighty-two percent said religious liberty protections were important for Christians, compared with 61 percent who said the same for Muslims. About seven in 10 said preserving Jews’ religious freedom was important, while 67 percent said so of Mormons. People who identified with no religion were ranked about even with Muslims in needing support to live out their beliefs.

Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, said the findings reflect deep divisions among Americans about the very definition of religious liberty, which has taken on newly politicized meanings in a time of debate over gay marriage and the threat from Islamic extremists.

“Religious freedom is now in the eye of the beholder,” Haynes said. “People in different traditions, with different ideological commitments, define religious freedom differently.”

The poll was conducted Dec. 10-13, after Islamic extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, and during intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric by Donald Trump and other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. The furor has led to a spike in vandalism of mosques and harassment of U.S. Muslims over the last month.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE STATESMAN JOURNAL 

 

Study: Muslim Americans too diverse for labels

By: huffingtonpost.com

Sourcehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/

The recently formed U.S. Council for Muslim Organizations is intended to represent and serve the American Muslim population, which numbers roughly 2.75 million. But what does this mean for a group that is heterogeneous in race, ethnicity, political attitudes and even religious beliefs?

In 2011 Pew Research interviewed 1,033 Muslim American adults 18 years old and older on their backgrounds, beliefs, lifestyles and more, and the findings revealed a group that is highly diverse and often difficult to classify.

Racially, thirty percent of Muslim Americans report their race as white, 23% as black, 21% as Asian, 6% as Hispanic and 19% as other or mixed race.

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Socio-economically, Muslim Americans fare comparably to the general public, but do have a slightly higher percentage that reports the lowest income bracket. Muslim Americans are about as likely to report household incomes of $100,000 or more as the general public, but 45% of Muslim Americans report a household income of $30,000 or less, compared to 36% of the general public who report the same.

Muslim Americans come from around the globe. Foreign-born Muslim Americans come from at least 77 different countries around the world. Sixty-three percent of Muslim Americans are first-generation immigrants, while 37% were born in the U.S. Seventy percent of those born outside of the U.S. are citizens (compared to 47% of foreign-born, on the whole, who are citizens.)

FULL ARTICLE FROM MUSLIM VILLAGE