islam_in_Poland

Experts on Islam and Muslim activists came together for a panel at the Joseph Tischner European University in Krakow in July to share personal stories of the Muslim experience in Poland, and how it is changing with the influence of the Arab Spring.

“Muslims should feel as comfortable in Poland as they do in their native countries. But do they actually feel this way? Is it easy to be a Muslim in Poland and to practise Islam in our country?” asked Dr. Konrad Pedziwiatr, an associate professor at the university, who led the discussion titled: “Muslims in Poland: Do Muslims Feel at Home?”

The Małopolska region, which includes Krakow, is home to about 300 Muslim families. Between 25,000 and 40,000 Muslims live in Poland. People of Syrian, Egyptian and Turkish origin play an important role in the community organisations, said panel experts. Muslim communities have lived in Poland continuously since the 14th century when Tatars settled in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but many of the current Muslim population arrived after 1970.

Panelist Urszula Chlopicka-Khan, a Muslim Pole from Lublin, said of her experiences: “I am a Pole. There is more that connects me with Polish than with Arabic culture. I don’t think about whether I do or do not belong in Poland. This is my home. But there are people that want to chase me out and they tell me that straight out. Where am I supposed to go?”

Dr. Beata Abdallah-Krzepkowska, a Muslim Pole from Katowice who teaches at the University of Silesia said: “We are looked at as outsiders. This comes from a stereotype that a Pole is a Catholic – not necessarily true. It’s hard for some people to understand that we are at home. We’re not tied to any Muslim countries.”

Dr. Hayssam Obeidat, a Jordanian-born, Middle Eastern Studies professor at Jagiellonian University said of his own experiences: “I don’t meet discrimination. Many Muslims in Poland are well-educated, most of them are working, and do not meet discrimination at work or at university. I studied here, I get grants without problems. No one makes judgments as to me being an Arab or a Muslim. In my personal situation, I feel comfortable in Poland.”

However, Dr. Obeidat believes the general Polish attitude towards Muslims has become more aggressive, and that US attitudes affect Poles: “The US has a strong influence on Poles’ opinions. There was a change among Poles after Sept. 11.” Dr. Obeidat said that in 2003 he organised an Arab cultural event where: “We dressed students in hijab,” which includes a head scarf worn by some Muslim women, “and they met such aggression. Before, that attitude didn’t exist. After Sept. 11, I think Poles changed 180 degrees.”

Audience member Mahmoud Vahedian, 29, from Iran said he felt safe in Polish cities, but has experienced discrimination. He recounted an incident in which he and friends, one a Muslim woman wearing hijab, were harassed by “security guards” in Warsaw’s Old Town.

Dr. Pedziwiatr shared another experience of a Muslim woman in Poland, also wearing hijab: “One of the leaders of the Muslim community in Warsaw told me that a Muslim woman was on a tram when another passenger got off, saying, ‘I’m not sharing a space with terrorists.’” Part of the problem is that “most of the information Poles have about Islam comes from the media,” which in Poland frequently portrays Muslims as terrorists and plays off Muslim stereotypes, said Dr. Pedziwiatr.

But Polish attitudes towards Muslims may be changing again, particularly with Poles watching the Arab Spring. “The relationship between Poles and Muslims is dependent upon what’s happening abroad. The Arab Spring is an important event for Poles,” said Dr. Pedziwiatr. “They are following what’s been happening in the Arab world – that Muslims are normal people who want the same rights and freedoms as we do.”

Muslims’ situation in Poland is also improving with the growing visibility of Muslim activists. “Muslims are shaping the debates about Islam in Poland. This is something that didn’t happen before. The leadership of the community consists mostly of doctors, university professors, engineers. They are at the forefront of what’s going on.”

Panelist Musa Czachorowski, spokesperson for the Muslim Religious Union (Muzułmański Związek Religijny) and Chief Editor of Muzułmanie Rzeczpospolitej, said people outside Poland are often surprised there is a Muslim community here: “A friend was at a conference in Belgium a few years ago. The conference was about assimilation. There were Muslims from all over. My friend asked, ‘Why didn’t you invite Muslims from Poland?’” to which the shocked response was: “You have Muslims?”

Dr. Pedziwiatr said Muslim and Polish communities need to see and hear Muslim activists speaking on Muslim issues. “It’s a very complicated picture. It’s important to show that these people are real, that they have interesting things to say. The community is getting internal integration, and is starting to have leverage in public, political debates. The community is getting more organised.”

  30 Responses to “Muslims at Home in Poland?”

  1. Please, please dont allow any more Muslims into Poland.And deport the one now in Poland. Muslims are will tell you there a religion of peace well look at the rest of Europe and there crime rates and whos doing thoes crimes. Poland isnt a rich country you cant afford a bunch of freedloading trouble makers who inbreed with first cousins causing retarted offspring that you must give medical care to. If they get into your education system they will fill your childrens up with lies and turn them against you. Dont believe me take a hard look at France or better yet Sweden. In Sweden there rapeing to death white women and getting away with it. Look you think living under the Russian Communist was bad well just wait under the Muslims will be truely terrible.I love Poland my grandparents were from Krakow and I have many cousins living in your city.I dont want to see Poland go thrrew hell again

    • Deara Susanna

      you have a very bad concept about muslims, Muslims are not bad at all, islam is the best religion on earth, and this is the only Reglion how give respect for woman, you know, basic teaching is this

      paradise is under the feet of your mother,(if your respect your mother, you love your mother, you serve your mother then you will get paradise)

      we donot leave our mothers when they are old, we love whole humanity

      if any one save one life, he save whole mankind, this is teaching of Islam.

      i hope you will reconsider your opinion, i lived in poland for two monthes with a family, and they loved me so much, i get only message of love from poland, thats why i love poland

      thank you

    • I’m from Kraków, actually you can’t spot muslim walking down the street. There are very few of them here. I can tell you that young people are extremly islamophobic, almost everyone here is racist. Also, you can’t support family living off a social money (welfare) from our goverment (like muslims do in rest of UE), because it’s not enough to even rent a flat.
      I’m pretty sure we will stop this madness because I can see that everyday we are more aware of problem with islam. I and my friends openly hate them and we don’t have any pressure like the rest of UE has to be tolerant.

    • Dear susanna king and many others who are agreed with these concerns

      i appreciate your concerns and feelings, anyone with little feeling and respect for their community would feel the same.

      but dont you think your words show so much anger and frustration and no respect to your fellow humans.

      for example: you know very well what British Thinks about Polish people in UK. if you dont know a lot about it, take my words for it, as i am Muslim British and can verify that they show more anger and frustrations about Polish people in UK, they believe these polish are taking their jobs and getting huge Benefits such as Job seekers allowance. housing benefits, income support etc

      Now do you think, we should hate polish people because British think like this
      off course NOT.

      we should not judge people or pass our judgements

      any one educated, with little knowledge and respect for themeless or others would never pass judgements based on what people think or say.

      I am sorry but i can confirm and verify that you know NOTHING or very little about Muslims
      please watch

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USkJSRJ9xfw

      i hope you will change your mind.

      there is a one book called QURAN (the wisdom) (the awareness)
      this is a book which have changed many native Europeans, American’s life and believe

      if you have not read this BOOK, how can you be honest with yourself and pass any comments about group of people without knowing about them.

      http://quran.com

      you find this book in your own language and then decide any one who reads this book and lives his life according to this book can be a bad person.

      you are more than welcome to contact me or send me any of your angry questions directly to me and i will try to answer them with respect & passion. newham@europe.com

      Remember one day we will all die.
      while we are on this planet we should not hate anyone

      do u think if British hate polish in UK is right, or
      do you think being polish if you hate Muslims is right?

      i hope my Allaha will reward me on the day of judgement for replaying to your anger & aggression with passion as any one can have anger but what makes us batter human, we should ask this question to ourselves.

      please pray for me all of you.

  2. dear susanna
    just to remind you the two major world wars that the history witness the muslim were not involved.over five million were dead and victim as a result ot the second world war and it was all chritians between them selves.as a muslim i always thought that war was an act of eivil but i had never blame christianity for this wars.christianity is a religion of peace as well as islam.

  3. TO SUSANNA KING,

    YOU STUPID RACIST!!!

    I DO NOT EVEN BELIEVE YOU ARE POLISH BUT SOME LOSER TRYING TO SPREAD HATE.

    YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!! LOL AT YOU, IDIOT!!!!

    I

  4. hello everyone,

    i am polish and i am muslim woman, but does it mea thatn i can not live in poland?
    i was christian and (i’m sorry but i must laugh) really christianity is a religion of peace????????????
    if you (i mean evrybody who think that) would read in the history, you would find so much about
    crucades. they killed everyone… old people, women, children…
    muslim wariors saved so many lifes. they didn’t kill everyone, just wariors. not children, not women, not old people.
    i’m wondering, that noone says anything about George bush yet….. the biggest humans killer!!! look what usa did in his history vietnam Japan Iraq Afghanistan and even in the UK he was giving weapons to IRF against UK , Usa alone which a christine country killed in millions and they weep about few thousands muslim killers
    Now look is this even so called Jesus who were told be a loving god he says in your every own bible
    “those who do not accept my authority beheaded them in other words cut their throat ”
    Read your bible and then talk about other religious

    i would like to offer here help to everyone who would like to learn more about islam. together with my husband, who is born muslim, we can explain to you everything, what you would like to know. just contact us on: learnislam@live.com
    you can contact us in polish, english, german and urdu.

    • Hello Samiyah,

      Bravo !!! I couldn’t agree with you more about the horrors inflicted upon humanity by the christian faith establishment.

      But by the same token, be fair and discuss the evil verses of Qur’an where those who do not follow the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be slaughtered… And why don;t you talk about the countless innocent women and children raped, beaten and killed by their loving Muslim husbands?

      The sad truth is that all religions are the root of all evil and violence in the world and all of them, without exception, are man-made fairy tales with the sole purpose of controlling the minds of ignorant masses. God was created by men … not the other way around.

      Just because a lie is repeated over and over again during hundreds of years …. unfortunately it doesn’t make it true but it merely has the same credibility as an urban legend.

      This is the 21st century with all its profound knowledge, undisputed discoveries and scientific achievements. Come join us, why don’t you?

    • Salam Samiyah how r U, i need to discuss sumthng with u , if u plz reply me at my email , i wil thankful to u ..

  5. Susanna King has to look a bit deeper into the muslim history and islamic ideologies in order to know the truth. Muslims around the world need to build the same character which our forefathers had in order to spread the true message of Islam. Let’s work hard to make our image clear…

    • but u know brother, it will be very dificult to clean the name of islam!
      the most of people think we are terrorist!!!!!!
      and here i will ask Susanna King: are you christian?… if yes: why are you not covered (hair and head)? Your Jesus said in the Bibel: cur the hair by the woman who doesn’t cover the head!!!!! so i think Susanna should learn first about her relogion, than about islam. and on the end compare the both religions and see how many things are same.

      • We are not terrorists and the muslims in the past were not terrorists who ruled the world for centuries because of there character which impressed the people.

      • My wide guess is that Susanna doesn’t wear a scarf because she no longer lives in 200 AD Arabia…. Plus it really isn’t that hot in Poland (most of the year). And why should she? After all, with extreme exceptions, we live in a civilized modern society where most men manage to control their animal-like sexual instincts and can live in perfect harmony with women treating them as equal partners and without having uncontrollable need to jump their bones each time they see their hair.

        Did you know that the Middle East is by far the highest consumer of woman’s make up in the world? Why is that? Why on one hand Muslim women follow the teachings of Islam and cover their bodies (highly disputable among Muslim women everywhere) – main pretext for doing so is not to tempt men into sinful thoughts…. On the other hand they wear so much make up (some is so exaggerated as if they were preparing for a burlesque cabaret in the red district of Paris) – to “subtly” invite the attention of a passer-by.

        Can it BE anymore hypocritical ????

        And let me ask you this, are you following all of the rules articulated by the Holy Quar’an? Can you honestly say that ? Because I’ve loved long enough in the Muslim countries but I am yet to meet a single individual who follow Quar’an teachings to the letter. So, if some rules must be obeyed but some can be skipped… Who decided which is which?

        Please don’t answer this question. It is rhetorical… Thousands of Muslims including leading clerics and scholars dispute this very issue since ages.

        PS. Since you so eagerly invite Susanna to wear a scarf like it says in the Bible (which we all know is the truth… NOT!!), how should she treat her slaves ? Any advice on that? Because the Bible provides plenty….

        Abrahamic religions are nothing but a set of subjectively selected and highly disputed rules derived from myth writings such as the Bible, Tora and Quar’an

    • … you mean, the crusades is the answers? It worked for our christian forefathers….

  6. [...] like altar boys. Common enough because of the percentages: 95+% Catholic, 5% other, including a few Muslims. These particular priests had gathered for a procession of the Black Madonna through Lipnica [...]

  7. huh ?

  8. there are ample of mistakes in bible..For example in genesis chapter it says that vegetation was created one day bfore the creation which is completely wrong..The other verse says that jesus stood on a mountain nd could see the whole world which is again unscientific..according to bible Earth is flat which which catholics strict blvd for decades..nd there are many more mistakes..word of God can nvr contain mistakes..
    Also it is bcoz of media that islam is getting some bad images..When war between the protest and catholics took place in Ireland the which took thousands of lifes the media used the term ‘troubles’ instead of christian militant. but when a muslim does a crime regardless of its nature the media wholeheartedly and easily use the term ISLAMIST MILITANTS..This is extremely funny..Finally i wud like to tel dis to my christians brother and sister that one who does not believe in jesus can nver b a muslim bt the one who believs hm to b the son of god can also not b a muslim!! (i am from india)

  9. What i think !

    There is no place for muslim in Poland.
    - Samiyah – YES everyone think you r terrorists and THIS is TRUE ! September 11 , Boston Marathon etc.
    - Susanna killer – Who is the racist ? White people ? or Muslims burning poppies in UK etc. Try to do this in Poland and you will see. Everyone know United Kingdom is too soft, system is really easy going and thats way you taking over there and in France. But not in Poland.
    - Samiyah – why are you not covered (hair and head)? – come on dude 21st cent. wearing what? poor muslim womens , they cannot show their beauty because of Koran and mens !
    - Samiyah – ” i would like to offer here help to everyone who would like to learn more about islam ….. ” learn about what ? How to make a bomb ? No thank you for lesson

    Please explain me people ( muslim ) about terrorist attacks done by your brothers, warriors, idiots !!!

    There is no place for your community in Poland
    You r not welcome !!!

    - Suzanna king – YES you r right – Please deport them ALL !!

    Thats what i think

  10. Please all Polish Nation !!

    Look whats happen in United Kingdom today. Is really SHOCKING !!!!! They are BARBARIC AND SICK !!! Dont do mistake like UK . Deport them all. Wake up Poland !!! They sick, they r TERRORIST !!!

    • You clown. You cowards will never get rid of us. Alhamdulillah (All praise be to God) that so many Polish brothers and sisters are finding the beauty of Islam.

  11. Michal, you’re right and so is susanna king. Sorry but live where you live, I don’t mind you at all, I don’t mind muslims visiting Poland for a short time, hell, I don’t even mind if PL-muslim couples falling in love and living together in our country (happens). No. I am not racist. I am just against globalisation and against other cultures flooding us. That’s all.

    Live in peace and all the best to you.

  12. hi , m planing to visit poland and i need friend special Muslim friend ………………….

    • Qualify “special muslim friend”. My imagination is going wild, there is so much interpretation to that ;-)

  13. Salaam
    To all muslim brother and sister i have been asking my self this question why is it so had to see moquest in poland have been in poland for 6 month now i never one day pray in a moquest i also miss the friday pray which is very had for me to miss the jumat,why is poland so week for this beautifull region lislam.i wish to meet a lot of muslim brother in poland.
    O Allah save all the muslim from your punishment ,and dont put us amongst the people who dont believe in you and the day of Resurrection the people who are the zanlimun,polytheists and wrong doers Ameen

  14. I live in UK and my neighbours are Polish, they are the best neighbours I’ve ever had.
    My appeal to the Polish people is, don’t be fooled in to believing the very Anti Muslim Media, Muslims are very peaceful and caring people.

  15. Sooo i’m Polish and i (currently at least) have NOTHING against muslims that currently live in Poland.
    Mostly because i have yet to meet one outside of several glances when i was in the UK.

    Note that the muslim minority in Poland is rather small and therefore not troublesome… yet.
    However people still hear a lot of… well let’s say crazyness when it comes to muslims… you know the usual christian girl soaked with acid here, rape there, church burning over there.
    People are cautious and there might be a strong response when the first bombs detonates in the crowd.

    I fear that all this might eventually end with a kristallnacht when people finally have enough and stop caring if that muslim on hand is a homicidal god fearing idiot or not.

  16. Whats with the need for arabs to move to places where they are least likely to be liked or accepted? Our governments are neglecting our longterm security by allowing these gentleman into countries that Europeans built and died for. Why allow ugly, pushy chameleon men who have already overpopulated there own countries move into beautiful places that our anscestors built? These guys are gonna make us all wish foe the jews back. We’ll never feel safe again.

  17. Abdulwahab bouli: go back to algeria. Your not european! Algeria is your country bro. Go home, make algeria a better place. Stop waisting time.
    Poles and Polish police will never duck away from removing you from their country if more of you idiots from north africa and lebanon move there. Unlike the effeminate french or dithering english, Poles have a strong christian and european identity; that they being decended from mighty barbarians, are capable of defending. When I say defending, I mean at the border or on their street corners! Arabs rioting and destroying property in Warsaw? Over our dead corpses! We signed to be apart the european union not the eurabi union. Stay away from my sister Abdulwahabi or I’ll lay some hurt on you!
    God bless Jan Sobieski! God bless Poland!

  18. Peace upon you all,

    your chat i can find it between any two people who cant hold the right conversation..

    First, i am muslim.. And i work for one peaceful world.. I live in kuwait, and i visit poland.. I share food and gifts with my polish friends family, which they are Christians and Jews… And they invite me to wedding, me and my mather which she wairing Hijab and covers hir hair..

    The question for you is, did jesus Christian? If he is Christian, which he belong to, protestant or catholic?
    Christ is not christianity, christianity is not the christian people… And for that, we cant judge region because of the peoples behavior who follow him..
    I am muslim but i dont agree with 11/9..

    If though, than whole christians blams of Hitler gults!!!

    Love for all of you.

  19. I wouldn’t be surprised if Susanna king is a Muslim who’s creating unnecessary tensions by posting such illogical comments. He or she sounds like a Muslim.

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