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27 May 2020 

Integration: let children show us the way


ISSUE 1 Nov. 2012 -
Integration may be a topical subject but it is rarely one that is seen from the viewpoint of children. Yet my experience as a Muslim woman and mother allows me to see that it is children who are able to provide us, on a daily basis, with examples of integration, without being unaware of it and without spending rivers of words on the subject. Naturally for this to work, it requires that there be no intervention from adults who tend to contaminate the innocent minds of children with preconceived ideas. Children are extremely spontaneous in their interactions and at times quite unforgiving in their judgment of others. At the same time however, they are less inclined to be conditioned by the need to keep up appearances. That is why they are an ideal place to look for examples of integration. So what is integration? Integration is a Muslim girl who goes to school wearing hijab (headscarf) with the same innocence with which her Christian classmate wears a hat. Integration is her Christian friend telling her: “I like you more without it “, and she replies: “Well, I don’t have to please you”, and a few seconds later they are still happily playing together. Integration is a little girl who at first has fun by pulling the hijab of her Muslim friend but then wants to try it on to see how she looks and tells her that the scarves she wears are very beautiful. Integration is a Muslim girl who turns up to a fancy-dress celebration at school in her “Persian princess” dress, fully veiled, and steals the show.....

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by Iman Zamani ... read more