All posts by Anna

Research Proposal Grant

This proposal is about changing policy effects on Moroccan Artisanal fishers and business. This proposal does a good job of laying out what the IRB restrictions will be and how they will follow IRB protocol in their interviewing methods.

The research question that the proposal gives is, “what are the effects of the declining fisheries and the recent policy focus in coastal fishing economies along the Moroccan coast on inshore artisanal fishers and businesses directly associated with fishing”? While this question is concise, it is missing the actual data type. For this question to be more accurate, it should mention something about the reports of fishermen, as the data type is Reports on Acts and Behaviors.

As previously stated, through in-depth interviews, the data type would be reports on Acts and Behaviors. The logical structure would be descriptive while the location site that is mentioned is the Moroccan Coast Line. How the data would actually be analyzed is missing, but would be easy to infer or add.

One main thing that is missing is a budget and materials. Other than that, I feel that this proposal is good and informative.

Redrawing the Line

This article mostly pertains to the United States, but I feel that it can apply to aspects on border control now in Europe as countries are tightening security at the border. The idea of borders in itself promotes the idea of keeping undesirable people and goods out of a country. Border control has the goal of selectively denying access to a territory. As immigration becomes the forefront of political discussions around the world, border control is becoming stricter. Even in Europe where the borders are “open”, more restrictions are being set. These days, it is easier to trade goods across borders than cross as a human. Our society is so focused on the economic benefit of open borders that we neglect freedom of border crossing for people.

The article argues that scholars are leaning towards the idea of a “world without borders”. In many ways, I agree with this as ideas, goods, and culture can flow between territories without (many) restrictions. However, I feel that the article is neglecting the fact that when ever there is a foreseen “security threat” there will always be enforced borders. As a society, we are almost there in terms of a borderless world when it comes to ideas. Globalization and technology have increasingly made the lines blurry between territories, as there is no physical border for the Internet to cross in most cases. However, when it comes to people, and more specifically asylum seekers or refugees, the borders between countries can become impenetrable. An example of this is the Schengen territories in the European Union have “open borders”, but when it comes to allowing refugees, many of these countries have closed their doors. The study of the refugees and asylum seekers also requires a study on borders and how and why they are formed and reinforced. If we can understand the societal and physical borders that are hindering refugees from asylum, then we can better understand there plight altogether.


Andreas, Peter. Redrawing the Line: Borders and Security in the Twenty -First Century. 2003

“Out of Control” Refugee Crisis in Germany

With the escalation of the influx of refugees and asylum seekers to Germany, the German people are becoming fed up about the lax restrictions that the country has on boarder control. As the refugee crisis in Germany continues, people, according to a poll done by ARD Deutschlandtrend reports that 81% of Germans think that the refugee crisis is out of control under Merkel’s government. The poll also included members from Merkel’s Christian Social Union, in which 67% of this party voted that Merkel is not handling the situation well. As more and more refugees come to Germany, Germans are calling for stricter regulations on asylum seekers and refugees as they enter the country. 88% of Germans even said that if the refugees who fail or are not willing to assimilate to German culture should have curbed benefits.

While open boarders is something that the EU prides themselves on, with light of recent events, many Germans believe that there should now be stricter boarder control throughout the EU and Schengen areas. Germans are not only calling for stricter regulations in Germany, but also for the EU as a whole. 77% of respondents on this poll believe that the EU should set up refugee centers at all external EU boarders to process migrant applications to see who really is eligible for asylum.

At the beginning of the refugee crisis, Germany paved the way with their “welcoming policy”, pledging to accept all refugees who come their way. Now, with the reality of the refugee crisis setting in, German citizens are not as enthusiastic to accept incoming refugees or asylum seekers. Germany has already accepted about 1.1 million refugees in the last year, but the question remains if they will be able to keep this up while appeasing their citizens.


“81% of Germans Say Refugee Crisis ‘out of Control’ under Merkel Govt – Poll.” RT    International. Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 4 Feb. 2016. Web.      13 Mar. 2016.

Europe’s Immigration Crisis: A Clash of Civilizations

Religion plays an important role in the migration crisis in Germany. This article explains the phenomenon of Muslims converting to Christianity in Germany. There have been a growing number of reported Christian-baptisms of Iranian people in churches across Germany. In many of the refugee’s countries, they can be persecuted on religious grounds for converting. In Germany, they are free to convert to Christianity, and many think that this will increase their chances of staying in the country.

The article goes into the idea that what makes assimilation difficult for many is the fact that these refugees are moving from predominantly Muslim countries to either Christian or secular countries. The culture shock alone is hard for many Muslims. In most countries where Islam is the dominant faith, it is also the main form of government and law. This religious divide is making it difficult for not only Muslim refugees to assimilate, but also making the receiving countries bringing in these refugees hard. Many countries see this cultural divide and are hesitant about welcoming Muslim refugees.

Much of this cultural divide however comes from ignorance about the Muslim tradition. Understanding that Islam, just like Christianity, came from Abraham would create a mutual respect. While in theory we would like to believe that modern European countries do not discriminate based on religion, we can clearly see in this migration crisis that many countries are rejecting refugees based on “cultural” differences when in reality, cultural differences also includes religion. While some Muslims are converting to Christianity, a host country must be accepting enough so that these refugees do not feel like they need to convert in order to integrate.

Whether one is secular, Christian, Muslim, or practice any other faith, religion is interwoven into the fabric that makes up the migration crisis in Germany and all of Europe. Until people learn how to accept and integrate different cultures and religions into their society, the migration crisis will never be solved completely.


Palmer, Richard. “Europe’s Immigration Crisis: A Clash of Civilizations.”Europe’s Immigration Crisis: A Clash of Civilizations. The Trumpet, 10 Sept. 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2016.


Germany: Migration, Islam, and National Identity

This article is from a German university and their center for Muslim studies. Although the article was posted in 2011, I feel that it still has some truth into the changing environment of Germany due to immigration. First, I thought it was interesting that the article pointed out that German migration up until this point has been mainly Christian immigrants. This new wave of immigration consists now more than even of Muslims. The late 1980s is when Germany’s population increased drastically to more asylum seekers than ever before. With that also came an influx of national backgrounds and religions. Currently, in some places in Germany, immigrants with a Turkish background out number all other nationalities. As immigration increased over the years, more people started publicly practicing their Islam tradition. This could be seen in the creation of mosques, and in the everyday life of school, work, etc. There is a mounting visibility of Islamic culture, which is now intertwining with German social and political culture as well.

What surprised me the most about this article was the fact that even though the majority of people in Germany who identify as Muslim are immigrants, 45% are in fact German nationals. This shows that Islam has greatly shaped the modern German identity, and will continue to with the recent immigration crisis. With new Muslim population, an academic interest in religion and policy has been on the rise as well. People now want to know the religious dimension in immigration and policy making. Not only that, but policy and immigration debates have been heavily emphasized with religion as well.


Nordbruch, Gotz. Germany: Migration, Islamd, and National Identity. Center for Mellemoststudier, Syddansk Universitet. 2011.

“German Churches Tone Down Refugee Welcome as Problems Mount”


This past year, Germany has been in the media spotlight both in America and Europe with its “open door” policy for accepting refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. Christian communities such as Protestants and Catholics have been supporting the German chancellor Angela Merkel in her decision to make Germany an accepting country for refugees. However, with recent reports of sexual assault and over-crowding of German space, religious leaders are admitting that Germany should set limits on migrant flows.

Churches and monasteries are amongst the many organizations that have been taking in and aiding this refugee crisis. In the beginning, while others opposed the refugee influx, and demanded borders to be closed, religious groups went as far to greet the incoming refugees at train stations as they arrived from their long journeys. Although these churches have opened up their spaces, and feel that it is their religious duty to take in these refugees, they acknowledge that Germany cannot be held responsible for all of the refugees in Europe. Even Angela Merkel, a Lutheran, feels that it is necessary to start imposing limits on who enters the country. Not only are refuges going to face restrictions, but also economic migrants who are not seeking asylum or facing persecution will not be welcoming into Germany.

At first, religious groups hesitated to mention anything about the restrictions on refugees, especially during the holiday season. Not until a reported 600 women filed criminal complaints about the refugee men did church groups take notice. After these incidents of sexual harassment, majority of German citizens thought that Germany needed to reduce the number of refugees. The German people are now claiming that they not only need to protect the human rights of refugees, but also the human rights of their women citizens.


Heneghen, Tom. “German Churches Tone down Refugee Welcome as Problems Mount.” Religion News Service. Religion News Service, 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

“Religion and Immigration- Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Experiences in the United States” Edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

This book gives a good background on the religious experience for the Abrahamic faiths in the United States. The first point that I thought was interesting in the book was the emphasis on individualism in the community. Those who immigrate no matter what religion seek community. Especially refugees or asylum seekers, family is necessary, and religion offers that community in a new environment.

While the United States is a nation of immigrants, Yvonne goes as far to say that the United States does not bear the religion of immigrants. These immigrants who immigrated did not come to the United States to find a new religion, but instead grow and anchor them selves in the faith they already had. The idea that immigrants come with their own life, culture, and customs is one that should be heavily taken into account when we meet immigrants and develop policies. While it is important for immigrants to assimilate to the place in which they are staying, they should not lose their culture or religion as a part of that assimilation process.

While the book mentions the importance of community, it also touches on our generations shift from “doctrine” to “spiritual” practice. With a more doctrine religious base, there is more of an emphasis on attending church while the spiritual practice is about have an individual connection with God. This put the community at risk, as less people attend church services, the faith community slowly dwindles. Yvonne counters this by saying that this spiritual practice will in fact “awaken” the church, and bring new life. A new generation will revive the church and make it alive once again.

Finally, this book touches on how we must reconcile all of the religions in the world, and come together for the common good. Yvonne recognizes that some of these religions are very different, but thinks that we can still create creative solutions for our world’s issues. Yvonne even goes as far to say that it is religious belief that must inspire us, and having an ethical common denominator is not enough to inspire change. This book gives a helpful perspective into the lives of religious people’s immigration to the United States. With this perspective, we can create creative policies that would aid in the immigration process for many.


Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, Jane I. Smith, and John L. Esposito. Religion and Immigration: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Experiences in the United States. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, 2003. Print.


“And Who Is My Neighbor” Religion and Immigration Policy Attitudes

This text comes from the Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion by Benjamin R. Knoll. This article shows exactly was I want to research in regards to religion and immigration policy. This article shows that one’s religious affiliation affects their political views, even in regards to immigration and other public issues. Public issues in which religious views play a role are issues such as social justice or personal mortality. One reason I thought was interesting why religion shapes one’s own immigration ideas is that religious clergy play an important role in the development of one’s opinion. Whether we admit it or not, religious clergy do have some political charge and influence on their congregations.

For instance, the Roman Catholic Church has taken the largest stance on immigration reform and policy. In most cases, the Catholic Church is supportive of pro-immigration policies and humanitarian aid. On the other hand, Evangelical Protestants  support the current laws set in place for immigration, and support those laws even if they are not “pro immigration”.

While one’s religion and denomination influence political ideas, the acts and behaviors of the individual play a larger role in their political thought. The article suggests that there is a difference between contemporary religious behavior verses traditionalist and modernist. Traditionalists are more likely to be involved in religious practice than the modernist. A traditionalist is more likely to agree with their religion’s stance on an issue than a modernist who participates less in the religious setting.

This article sums up how not only religion, but religious practice plays a role in the development of an individual’s political ideas. This article was found using the database JSTOR


Knoll, Benjamin R. ““And Who Is My Neighbor?” Religion and Immigration Policy Attitudes.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48.2 (2009): 313-31. JSTOR. Web.