Perceiving Islam and Muslims in Poland in the context of the European refugee crisis

Abstract

The EU countries have been inefficiently managing the latest European migrant crisis, among them Poland was particularly unsuccessful. Contemporary discourse on refugees from the Middle East in Poland revolves around the following issues: the danger of altering Polish culture, the increase of the likelihood of terrorism, and the postulate of empathy towards people threatened by war. The religious factor plays a significant role in this discourse, since refugees who come from predominantly Muslim countries from a group of special interest in this Catholic-majority state. Halina Grzymała-Moszczyńska, Adam Anczyk, and Anna M. Maćkowiak have examined, qualitatively, how Poles perceive Islam, and how this image may be associated with attitudes towards refugees. The aim of this study was to analyze narratives about Islam and the religious Other, emerging from partially structured interviews. The questionnaire, containing citations from the Bible, the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita served as the trigger for interviews conducted after filling it out.

Speaker

Anna M. Maćkowiak is a doctoral student at the Department of Phenomenology and Anthropology of Religion, Institute for the Study of Religions, Jagiellonian University, Krakow. Currently she is beginning to realization of her individual research grant (Preludium) concerning constructing meanings of selected Indonesian religious rituals by hosts, tourists, and travellers. Her academic interests and activities pertain also to inter-religious relations, religious syncretism, and the influence of religions on daily life of Indonesian and Poles.

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