The Sociopolitical Effects of Islam in Britain, France, and Germany
| Alexandrea C. Standridge
Columbus State University
This paper will discuss the history and assimilation of the immigration of Muslims into Britain, France, and Germany, including when and why they arrived and how it has affected the pre-existing cultures in those nations. This paper will also discuss the predicted changes in the world caused by this immigration, and push towards a multicultural, global community.
“Muslims have become a part of this society....They are not going to 'go home'. Their home is here.” - Nadeem Elyas, chair of the Central Council of Muslims in Deutschland, Cologne, Germany (Fetzer & Soper, 2004). The statement made here could not be truer. There was a major immigration for Muslims to Britain, France, and Germany from their home countries after World War II. Now in Britain, France, and Germany, these Muslims—a significant number of them native-born citizens of these European nations—are calling for political and social reform in these countries to make life as equal for them as it is for those whose heritage is of that nation. The Muslims from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Algeria, and other Arab and Sub-Saharan African countries are asking for and encouraging changes in the political and social policies of Britain, France, and Germany. The changes that are being brought about by the post-World War II immigration and the steadily growing Muslim population in Britain, France, and Germany will be ones that will be beneficial in the unification of the global community, and the encouragement of the world to end the categorization of people by their heritage, nation of origin, race, or religious beliefs.
The largest immigration began post-World War II, when the immigrants from various nations were in need of work, and Britain, France, and Germany had work to offer them. The work typically involved hard, manual labor for small wages. The majority of the work involved the rebuilding of these nations after the devastation left-behind from World War II. These immigrants were predominantly Muslim. The cultures that they came from were, at one point, ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and their cultures were developed around the widespread of Islam that the Ottoman Empire brought with it. In Britain, there was a small population of Muslims already living there in the cities of London, Liverpool, and Woking. The Muslims in these cities were working on the seaports and aiding in the industrial growth of Britain. The population of Muslims was significant enough that by 1889 Britain’s first fully functioning mosque was built in Woking (Fetzer & Soper, 2004). The largest wave of immigration into Britain occurred shortly after the end of World War II, which was just before the end of the British rule of India in 1947, but note that not all of the immigrants were Indian. India gaining its independence from Britain was a good thing for the Indian people; however it left a lot of Indians, who had previously worked for or with the British Government, out of work. At the time, in Britain, the nation was trying to rebuild after the destruction caused by World War II, and a lot of Indians started to travel to Britain using their previous connections from working for or with the British government to get jobs in the rebuilding (Fetzer & Soper, 2004). Most of these Indians were male, and they would live as cheaply as possible, usually in small apartments with other men. The men would then send any additional money that they had back home to their families. The original goal of these men was to earn enough money to return home and be able to create a livelihood for themselves and their families. This idea slowly faded due to the economic resources and educational benefits of living in Britain. So instead of returning home, the goal became to get enough money to bring their families to Britain. Until 1962 and...
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