"I have adapted to my neighbors and vice versa. We try to understand and get to know each other. I have good contract with them. We have... local activities, and we get together three or four times a year."
The above words were spoken by a Dutch non-Muslim resident of Rotterdam; one of 300 people interviewed for Muslims in Rotterdam—the fifth report in a series produced by the Open Society Foundations.
Through engagement with policymakers and local communities, Muslims in Rotterdam examines the political, social, and economic participation of Muslim communities living in Rotterdam—The Netherlands' second-largest city and home to almost 600,000 people, just under half whom have an immigrant background. Focusing on the district of Feijenoord, the report explores the primary concerns of both Muslim and non-Muslim inhabitants and assesses whether local policymakers have understood and met these needs.
While recognizing that the Rotterdam City Council has devised a number of initiatives seeking the greater inclusion of its Muslim and other minority groups, further challenges remain, especially in the areas of education and employment. There is also the challenge of growing extremism among segments of the native Dutch population. The report offers a number of good practices across various sectors in Rotterdam and a set of recommendations in the areas of consultation and participation, social protection, and safety and security.
The report is a result of research undertaken on the nature of Muslim integration 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. Muslims in Rotterdam was launched in partnership with the International Debate Education Association on November 19, 2010.
The full report, along with a fact sheet, is 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, please contact Csilla Tóth at [email protected].