Muslims Experience European Life "Separate and Apart"

November 27, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On November 27, 2003 The Washington Post ran a feature article detailing a Muslim family struggling for acceptance in The Netherlands, as an illustration of a larger European phenomenon: "Yaakoub's experience offers a glimpse into the conflict between Europe's historically Christian, increasingly secular societies and the large -- and often alienated -- Muslim populations. Many of the Muslims were invited here three decades ago as cheap temporary workers who would one day go home. But they stayed on and became an integral part of European society, making Islam the continent's second-largest religion. Today it is common to see a mosque near a medieval church; Arab restaurants and food stores abound on inner-city streets. Muslims represent the fastest growing-group in Europe, a boom fueled by high birth rates as much as immigration. But on average they remain far behind the traditional populations economically and socially...some of Europe's Muslims have prospered and found a place in society, running for public office, intermarrying. But the more common existence is as a minority, separate and apart, as revealed by a look at one Muslim household in one town in the center of the Netherlands."