Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spain's Muslim immigrants well integrated

Study: 84% of polled Muslims said faced no obstacles to practicing their religion in Spain.

MADRID - The vast majority of Muslim immigrants to Spain are well integrated in the country even if 27 percent of them are currently unemployed, according to a government study published Wednesday.
Fully 70 percent said they felt "good or very good" in Spain while 81 percent said they felt they were "well adapted to Spanish life and customs", the investigation carried out by the Metroscopia social studies institute found.
Of the 2,000 Muslim immigrants polled, 84 said they faced no obstacles to practicing their religion in Spain while 94 percent said they opposed the use of any of violence to defend religious beliefs.
The institute has carried out the study for the government each year since 2006 and the most findings did not differ significantly from the results in other years.
Speaking at a news conference to unveil the results of the study, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said "the recession seems to not to have affected the opinions expressed in this annual survey."
Spain plunged into its longest and deepest recession at the end of 2008 as the global credit crisis hastened a correction which was already underway in its key property sector.
The downturn caused Spain's overall unemployment rate to soar to 19 percent in February, nearly twice the 10 percent rate of the entire 16-nation euro zone.
The unemployment rate is higher amongst immigrants as they are primarily employed in areas such as construction and the services sector which have been especially hard hit by the recession.
Spain has around 767,000 Muslim immigrants out of a total population of 46 million people. Most Muslim immigrants are from Morocco.

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