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Multicultural integration in British and Dutch societies: education and citizenship

Christopher Adam Bagley (Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Nader Al-Refai (Faculty of Shari’a and Islamic Studies, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan)

Journal for Multicultural Education

ISSN: 2053-535X

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize published studies and practice in the “integration” of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain and The Netherlands, 1965-2015, drawing out implications for current policy and practice.


This paper is an evaluative review and report of results of work on citizenship education for young Muslims and their peers in English schools.


Young Muslims have positive attitudes to “good citizenship”, as Islamic socialization makes them particularly responsive to citizenship messages. But there is hard-core racial prejudice and Islamophobia in about 25 per cent of adults. In The Netherlands, this xenophobia has supported far-right politicians who are strongly anti-Muslim. This paper cites evidence that continued prejudice may lead to alienation and radicalization of some minorities.

Research limitations/implications

Unchecked prejudice concerning minorities can have negative implications for both majority and minority groups this broad hypothesis deserves further research in both Dutch and British societies.

Practical implications

In Britain, success in Muslim schools in fostering positive citizenship implies that Muslim groups can maintain “quiet dignity” in following Islamic pathways to good citizenship.

Social implications

State support for religious-foundation schools should be offered to all religious groups and should not be withheld from Muslim minorities for “security” reasons.


This overview by two Muslim educators offers new insights and proposals in the acceptance of Muslim minorities in Europe.



Bagley, C.A. and Al-Refai, N. (2017), "Multicultural integration in British and Dutch societies: education and citizenship", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 82-100.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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