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The immigrants who have university studies focus on their faith in a different way. They are more relaxed regarding their customs and quickly adapt to the laicism of customs of the place, or they look for arguments to interrelate both religious approaches: their own and the new one in their destination. On the other hand, I found that college students who intellectually strengthen their faith radicalize their positions until reaching an integrist exposition. No matter what, their principles are very radical, although their behaviors are very relaxed.

I also came across Moroccans who deny their faith. They are those who consider that faith as a “hoax,” “a deceit to the nation,” and prefer to dedicate themselves to work in unions and associations to defend the interests of their people. These are the atheists of Islam, convinced of the pain caused by the false hope in their nation. If the others pray, they do not; if the others do not eat pork, they do; if the others do not drink, they often get drunk; if the others are submissive to power and to God, they rebel. They tend to be college students with bad luck; they are intelligent people who rebel, mainly, against their “bad luck.”  

It is easy to recognize that age, place of origin, cultural level, and time of permanence in Spain are factors that affect the way of living one’s faith. Without having exhaustive data we see that, except for exceptional cases, older Moroccans who come from countryside, with little academic level, children in Morocco, and just a short time in Spain, have a more rooted faith than the young people from urban zones, who possess greater academic studies, less familiar responsibilities, and have greater permanence in Spain. They tend to be relaxed about their customs and adapt better to the lay rate of the new culture. Some have a very rooted faith, but the adaptation to our culture implies changes, changes that some are already implementing in their religious way of life.

Conclusion: religiosity as a factor of a new civilization

I compromised to show that the theory that has circulated with more vigor in the last decade on possible international confrontation—as is the clash of civilizations—has no sense in concrete scenarios, especially when these possible discrepancies are exerted in the same context of time and space. Talayuela, with a population of less than 12,000 inhabitants, is able to live in a cultural diversity that encircles the “evils” to which are referenced by Samuel Huntington. I centered fundamentally in the religious monotheistic nuclei.

Contradicting the possibility of the fight of civilizations, the religious experience of the people, whatever it might be, can be exerted as a uniting factor of experiences that contribute to the integration in the most complex and deteriorated systems on the part of the receiving society. Supporting suffering situations, a lack of expectations, extreme poverty, marginalization, and an opening to new realities that end up becoming new perception, it is possible, from a firm belief in their God. The provisions filled with securities in their parents’ God serves them to “understanding” the new things even if it is not the best. I have seen how the experiences of the Islamic immigrants who work in Talayuela reinforces the faith for some, while others move away from it. I have not seen situations in which faith fights against the welcoming society, or in which those with no faith fight to obtain justice for everyone.

The past 15 years are a sample that not only diversity is possible, but that it is the real thing in many places of the world. Talayuela is one of them, but not considered in the framework of Professor Huntington. The battle to find the framework that makes coexistence possible after this apparent contradiction, is not other than to understand that we are at the beginning of a new civilization that will be fed by the multiple and complex diversity that has been formed throughout ten thousand years and that now pleads to be unified in that same diversity. Talayuela visualizes a future scenario – that already is present among their people – in which the fight to maintain the identity is not synonymous of a bloody conflict or of destruction of those who are different. Rather, it seems these experiences are telling us that it is possible to be diverse, in peace.

References

Arango, J. (1994). La cuestión migratoria en la Europa de finales del siglo XX, en el Mundo que viene, Madrid, Alianza., 1994.

Azurmendi, M. (2001). Estampas de El Ejido: un reportaje sobre la integración del inmigrante, Barcelona, Taurus, 2001.

Barbolla, D. (2001). Inmigración marroquí en la zona de Talayuela (Cáceres), Mérida, Editora Regional.

Calvo Buezas, T. (1981). Los más pobres en el país más rico, clase, raza y etnia en el movimiento chicano, Madrid, Encuentro.

Huntington, S. P. (1997). El choque de civilizaciones y la Reconfiguración del Orden Mundial, Paidos.

Levi-Strauss, C. (1973). Race et historie, Paris, UNESCO. Reproducido en Antrhropologíe structurales seux, Paris, Pon.

López, B. (1996). Atlas de la inmigración Magrebí en España, Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Naïr, S. (1997). Mediterráneo hoy. Entre el diálogo y el rechazo, Barcelona, Icaria-Antraryt.

Sartori, G. (2001). La sociedad multiétnica, pluralismo, multiculturalismo y extranjero, Madrid, Taurus.

Domingo Barbolla Camarero is a professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Extramadura, Spain.

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Source:  OpenStax, Immigration in the united states and spain: considerations for educational leaders. OpenStax CNX. Jul 26, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11174/1.28
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