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.