Participants & Abstracts
Christine Le Jeune
Christine is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in German and European Studies at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Prior to her studies at Georgetown University, she completed a two-year program within the field of International Relations at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University Berlin, and the University of Potsdam, Germany, supported through a merit-based DAAD Fellowship awarded to her in 2004.
Christine received her B.A. in International Relations and German with High Honors from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad with Harvard University in Greece and at the University of Granada, Spain.
Currently, Christine is working as a research assistant at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focusing on Central Europe. Prior to working at CEPA, Christine interned at the Political-Military Affairs office of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Her research interests include the effects of migration on national and international security, the integration of immigrants in Europe, and transatlantic cooperation on counter-terrorism. Christine is fluent in English and German, and proficient in Spanish.
Muslim Immigrants in the West: Which Way Forward?
In my paper entitled Muslim Immigrants in the West: Which Way Forward? , I will analyze the recent clashes between the mainstream "native", non-Muslim majority population and the immigrant, Muslim minority community in Germany and the United States. The paper will compare the integration policies towards Muslims in Germany and the United States and, within this framework, review the current situation of Muslims in the U.S. and Germany.
Beginning with a discussion of Necla Kelek's Die fremde Braut. Ein Bericht aus dem Inneren des türkischen Lebens in Deutschland (2006), I will present a perspective on Muslim integration in Germany. This viewpoint will focus not only on Muslim integration as a whole, but will also address Muslim women and their dual status as minorities both within the Muslim community and in Germany. Within this context, I will discuss the topic of multiculturalism and its role in the integration policies of both Germany and the U.S., and address the following questions: Have multicultural integration policies failed in Germany and/or the U.S., and if so, why? Where are the perceived discrepancies between what is being done to enhance integration and what should/could be done, and why do such discrepancies exist? Have stereotypes on both the non-Muslim majority and Muslim minority sides gone so far as to render renewed efforts towards integration futile?
Against the background of these debates, I will examine proposals aimed to address the current state of Muslims in Germany and the U.S. The "way forward", as suggested by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, emphasizes the need for reform within Muslim communities as well as the Western societies within which they reside.