Integration of Muslims should be in the hands of the private sector

Both Norway and the US are tackling the issue of the spread of Islam and the integration of Muslims, though from different perspectives. The US priorities are homeland security and the threat of terrorism. They’re locked in two wars in neighboring Muslim countries and need to decide on a strategy for withdrawal as well as how to deal with a growing militant Muslim fundamentalist community threatening its safety at home. Yes, the US has freedom of religion and must therefore protect its citizens and their rights to freedom of religious practice. As long as that practice stays within legal boundaries. Their strategy for counter-terrorism often involves profiling. Now with the likes of “Jihad Jane”, the threat of terrorism has taken on a new persona and the rules are changing.

Norway’s concerns are not so much with security as with how best to integrate a growing Muslim population into a homogenous society. Norway places this responsibility on the government. Farah Pandith, the US Special Representative to Muslim Communities, was in Oslo recently under the auspices of Minotenk. In Aftenposten she is quoted as saying that Muslims are freer to practice their faith in the US than in any other country on earth. That may be true when you consider that any branch of Islam can be practiced there without the threat of persecution or death. But the US is not exactly a haven for Muslims these days.

However, she has a point when stating that Norway should take a lesson from the US and leave integration to the private sector. Certainly the private sector should step in and offer services such as cross cultural training, but first there has to be a government strategy for integration in place. Otherwise, immigrants are likely to be left in the dark and suffer more. Read the full article here.

Latest posts | |