Friday, July 01 2016

MRG report highlights rising Islamophobia across Europe

 Minority Rights Group International (MRG) has published a new report titled 'State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples' in which it says that religious intolerance is 'the new racism' and one of the main reasons for the persecution of minorities worldwide.

The report says that Muslims in particular have been increasingly targeted by authorities in Europe and the US as part of counter-terrorism measures, and notes the rising trend in Islamophobia across Europe.

From a press release issued by the group:

'The report says ultra right-wing parties, aiming to establish themselves in mainstream political arenas in Europe, justify their anti-immigration, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic rhetoric by stoking fears that religious minorities and immigrants are a threat to modern societies.

'‘Successes in the 2009 European Parliamentary elections, and at the national parliamentary level, have allowed these populist right-wing parties to shift formerly far-right ideas, on immigration for example, into the mainstream,’ says Carl Soderbergh, MRG’s Director of Policy and Communications.

'The report details a sharp rise in Islamophobia in Europe in 2009.

'In May 2009, ultra right-wing groups held an ‘anti-Islam’ rally to oppose the building of a large new mosque in Cologne, Germany. When the authorities in Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen approved the country’s first purpose-built mosque, the extreme-right Danish People’s Party launched an anti-mosque campaign in September.

'Following a campaign by the ultra-conservative Swiss People's Party, a sizeable majority of Switzerland’s cantons backed a referendum in November, which proposed a ban on the building of new minarets in mosques.

'‘MRG is deeply concerned about the infringement of religious freedom that the Swiss ban on minarets, and other European Islamophobic initiatives, supposes for the Muslim community. We urge European authorities to abide by their obligations under international law and protect their populations’ freedom to practice their religion and be free from discrimination,’ added Soderbergh.

'The report also notes an increase in the number of incidents against the Jewish community in Europe. Research shows that during 2007 and most of 2008, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the EU declined, but that it has been on the rise again since December of 2008.'

The increase in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism underlines the need for faith groups, particularly the Muslim and Jewish communities, to work together to tackle the common threat of racism and religious intolerance.

The full report can be read here.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 August 2010 11:52


0 #2 eslaporte 2010-07-08 10:53
LibertyPhile - your post has little to do with a reply to the article, or the report. However - this is a typical tactic - using a single event to justify discrimination, violence and Islamophobia across the world.

Here in "the West" we see discrimination, biased media, acceptence of violence and mainstreaming Islamophobia which resulted in Muslims losing their freedom of worship and expression.

An incident where windows are covered for Muslim swimmers, as you posted, is no justification for the acceptence and mainstreaming of Islamophobia anywhere at any time!
Quote | Report to administrator
0 #1 Does it cross your mind?LibertyPhile 2010-07-05 14:52
Now, it might be possible, just might be, I stress, that the rise in "Islamophobia" has a lot to do with (genuine) stories like this:

Pool windows covered up for Muslim swimmers 3rd July 2010

Windows at a Black Country leisure centre have been covered up at the request of Muslim women who do not want people to see them swimming.

The move at Darlaston Leisure Centre was today criticised by other swimmers. Walsall Council said it acknowledged the request of the Muslim community, adding that it could not afford to put frosted glass in.

The centre opened in 2000 and with its striking glass panels, has been praised for its “ultra-modern design”.

The windows are now covered by a dark film.

I strongly recommend that you read the readers' comments on this story.
Quote | Report to administrator

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.
If you are experiencing problems please contact

Engage Publications

Books of Interest