Chapter

European Muslims' confidence in the justice system

Pamela Irving Jackson and Peter Doerschler

in Benchmarking Muslim well-being in Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428875
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307716 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428875.003.0003
European Muslims' confidence in the justice system

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Given their implications for the degree of legitimacy with which the state and its institutions are viewed, and for trust in “the system”, this chapter focuses on Muslim Europeans’ perceptions of police and justice system fairness. Muslims’ degree of concern about criminal victimization and the level of crime in their neighbourhoods is also looked at. The focus here is on the sense of safety and security expressed by Muslims and the extent of their trust in justice agencies. Overall, the results indicate that Muslims are more integrated into their European homes than popularly recognized. In three of the four states, rather than distrusting the police and the legal system, Muslims are at least, if not more, willing than other Europeans to work with agencies of justice and rely on them for protection. In France, where state policy has mandated aggressive policing of those whose demographic characteristics are linked with undocumented immigrants, Muslims are significantly less likely to trust the police than are non-Muslims. But even while their distrust of the police appears to be based on facts documented by outside agencies, this distrust does not extend to the rest of the justice system: ESS data indicate that there is no significant difference between French Muslims and non-Muslims in trust in the legal system.

Keywords: Fear of crime; Trust in justice system; Crime concerns; Anti-social behaviour; Riots; Trust in police; Vulnerable Muslims

Chapter.  7603 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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