"The one thing that can make a real difference is legislation. And this is what has been a major problem. By legislation I mean politicians and people with a high standing in society—if they together could just understand what it is to be a Muslim in Denmark or what it is to come from a visually identifiable ethnic minority."
—Focus group respondent
Through engagement with policymakers and communities, Muslims in Copenhagen examines the needs and aspirations of diverse Muslim communities living in Copenhagen and how public policies have helped or hindered their political, social, and economic participation.
Muslims in Copenhagen paints a picture of Copenhagen which contradicts prevailing impressions that Muslims in Denmark are isolated and living separate lives, and finds instead a commonality of interests and perspectives across religious and cultural lines and a high sense of belonging to the city.
The report recognizes the positive engagement and pragmatic approach of Copenhagen City Council in the social inclusion of its Muslim and other minority communities. The city has adopted its own comprehensive diversity and inclusion policy in response to the needs and concerns of its inhabitants, in addition to integration legislation at the national level.
While important lessons can be learned from Copenhagen, there is space for the city to learn from other European cities and their approaches to managing increasingly diverse populations. 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 Copenhagen is the seventh 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: Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities, is also available.
The report will be launched in partnership with the office of the Mayor for Integration and Employment in Copenhagen on March 3, 2011.
The Copenhagen report is available for download, as well as the executive summary and recommendations. A fact sheet based on the report's findings is also available. All publications are available in English, and Danish translations will follow.
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].