Integration in Scandinavian Countries
General Integration – So far Muslims have not integrated at the general level. “The persistence of communalism among Muslims plus segregation in housing and labor markets symbolize this failure” (Hunter 137). This is that Muslims are living all in the same area as other Muslims, and they are not living amongst other people. Also the “labor market” being the jobs they have are all the same, and not mixed in with non-Muslims.
Political Level – There is as some would say little to no integration for Muslims in Scandinavian counties in the political level. In Sweden out of 349 Parliament members (government officials) only 3 are Muslims. “Immigrants are interested in politics, but they feel that they are unable to change their own conditions and those of the society by acting through the existing political systems” (Hunter 127). It seems that they want to be involved but they are afraid of what others will think if they change something.
Level of Religious Rituals – Muslims have not integrated with others to the point of religious rituals. “Muslims attacked the Freedom of Religion Act from 1951 because of the restrictions on the Islamic way of slaughtering animals” (Hunter 138). If they are being restricted on their religion, it is very hard for them to integrate with the other people in the country.
Ideological Level – At the Ideological level Muslims in Sweden are positive. They are thought of more than they were before and they are a part of a development they call Euro-Islam. This is Muslims getting away from all the bad in the middle east and wanting to be more of a real Islam in Europe.
Integration in Spain
“The presence of Islam in Spain has less to do with the historical past than it does with Spain’s becoming a recipient country of immigrants” (Hunter 172). This is saying that the presence of Islam was not really seen until Spain was allowing immigrants and that the immigrants make up the community. It is a small community but Islam is becoming more seen in the public eye, getting attention from the public, politics, and government authorities. “Spain’s small and diverse Islamic community has found it difficult to make progress in various fields, and it has faced many problems.” (Hunter 172). They have made this worst because they are talking bad or against the government. The Spanish Muslims consist of small communities and they are trying to better themselves by practicing their religion and pasting it down to their children.
In the community level or general integration, the Muslims are not doing a great job integrating with non-Muslims. They are living in separate neighborhoods and not interacting with each other. Authorities are also having problems finding good partners in Muslim communities to know what is going on around them to try to keep them safe.
In the Political Level of integration, “Bonds with Islamic countries-countries of origin and other are being strengthened because of the need for funds to build places of worship” (Hunter 173). This is a good aspect of integration in between counties they are helping them build a stronger bond. But there is also fear that foreign nations try to manipulate them through Islamic associations.
Legal Recognition, In July 1989 Islam was officially recognized by the government of Spain because there is a great presence of Muslims in Spain. This is good but has also created more problems for Muslims in Spain. Such as the government does not provide financial assistance to religious intuitions. “Consequently, even today, conditions for the practice of Islam in Spain are not as good as they could be. Because the agreement is a framework… and its content has been modified within a long and complex process” (Hunter 169). This sums up as saying that there are loopholes for the government to jump through so that they can and cannot do thing for the Islamic community in Spain.
HUNTER, Shireen T., and Charles BUCHANAN. Islam, Europe’s Second Religion: The New Social, Cultural and Political Landscape. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. Print.