"You must value each other for who you are and what you do, and if one person goes to church and the other goes to the mosque, then that's their own business. Apart from that it doesn't matter."
—Open Society Foundations focus group participant, Amsterdam
Through engagement with policymakers and communities, Muslims in Amsterdam examines the political, social, and economic participation of Muslim communities living in Amsterdam, the capital and largest city of the Netherlands and home to one of the widest varieties of nationalities (an estimated 176) of any city in the world.
"I am here and I am Dutch too."
—Foundations questionnaire respondent, Amsterdam
Muslims in Amsterdam offers unique insight into the daily lives and experiences of the city's Muslim, non-Muslim, and minority residents. Focusing on the district of Slotervaart, the report explores the needs and primary concerns of both Muslim and non-Muslim inhabitants and assesses whether local policymakers have understood and met these needs. Who has defined these needs and how are they understood? Does delivery of essential services encompass cultural and religious requirements? What are the measures taken by Amsterdam City Council that acknowledge diversity and discrimination? Do policy practices and efforts include all groups? Areas examined include education, employment, health, housing and social protection, citizenship and political participation, policing and security, media, belonging, identity, and interactions.
The report highlights examples of good practice throughout the various public and private sectors of the city of Amsterdam and acknowledges that policies and practices emerging from Slotervaart can serve as an example of how to build positive policies with an understanding of faith identities. Further challenges remain, in the areas of education and employment especially, and the report offers a series of recommendations for local and national authorities, Muslim communities and other minority groups, NGOs and community organizations, the media, and broader civil society.
Muslims in Amsterdam is the sixth report in the Muslims in EU Cities series produced by the Open Society Foundations' At Home in Europe Project. It is a result of research undertaken on the level and nature of integration of Muslims in 11 cities across Europe (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leicester, London, Marseille, Paris, Rotterdam, and Stockholm). A 12th report, Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities, is also available.
The report is to be launched in partnership with the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in Amsterdam on November 23, 2010.
The full report and fact sheet are available for download in English and Dutch. Hard copies of the report can be requested, but please note that they may not always be available. To order one, please contact Csilla Tóth at [email protected].