Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 05:51:11 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Tackling Islamophobia in Europe

By
09th-Jul-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Farid Hafez, Julie Pascoët and others :
The European Commission is appointing its new coordinator on anti-Muslim hatred. This is a key opportunity to re-assess this role and ensure the coordinator has a clear human rights based mandate and meaningful resources to tackle racism and discrimination against Muslim communities in Europe, which have been lacking so far.
In December 2015, following the first ever European Commission Fundamental Rights Colloquium, the appointment of a European Commission Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred was a welcome move. This was a strong and concrete commitment to tackle increasing racism against Muslim people in Europe.
The coordinator took some steps to increase the relationship with NGOs and the recognition of anti-Muslim hatred. However, two years after the coordinator's appointment, this political commitment must now lead to a shift in strategic approach, understanding of the issue and to tangible actions, which have been lacking so far.
The current political context makes this all the more urgent. In several EU countries, islamophobic discourses are being spewed by government representatives and are shaping the way laws and policies are being developed and adopted, but also practices.
The latest example is in Denmark, where the government is introducing a new set of laws dubbed the "ghetto package" to regulate neighbourhoods with a high percentage of low income and Muslim and immigrant families, including mandatory instruction in "Danish values" for pre-school children at least 25 hours a week. In addition, this has an impact on people's lives and the racist incidents and discrimination they face.
In Belgium this week, a 19-year old Muslim woman was attacked by two men who pulled her headscarf and her shirt off, used a sharp object to cut her body and called her "filthy arab".
From Syria to an integration centre and finally to a new home in Prague. A refugee's path may rake this route. But life for Arabs in the Central European country also has its dark sides. EURACTIV Czech Republic reports.
On Thursday 5 July, organisations part of a European coalition against Islamophobia sent an open letter calling on European Commission Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourová to provide their Coordinator on anti-Muslim hatred with a clear human rights-based mandate and meaningful resources. The European Commission's decision to appoint a new coordinator is an opportunity to make this happen.
Indeed, there are serious gaps in the mandate and approach of the coordinator to ensure meaningful participation of Muslim communities and anti-racism NGOs and to develop policies to combat Islamophobia. The appointment of one dedicated person does not replace strong political will, actions and effective policies.
Inadequate human and financial resources, expertise, objectives and evaluation processes partly explain disappointing results to date. The lack of transparency concerning meetings with national governments, the failure to organise a meeting between NGOs and Commissioners, the framing of anti-Muslim hatred as a religious and security issue instead of a human rights one, the absence of European Commission representatives at several events on Muslim women's rights and the engagement of the coordinator with very questionable figures fuelling Islamophobia, are among the most problematic illustrations of these systematic gaps.
In a context of generalised suspicion of Muslims, it is all the more important that EU policy makers advancing equality and non-discrimination see Muslims as human beings who enjoy fundamental rights as any other person. The fight against Islamophobia is about politically addressing structural forms of discrimination and racism affecting Muslims or those perceived as such.
A distinguished Arab diplomat remarked that EU politicians and think tank representatives did not make use of keywords such as "Iraq" or "Islam" while discussing the Union's relations with its neighbours and the refugee crisis for several hours.
If the European Commission is serious about upholding European core values of equality and non-discrimination, it needs to make important strategic changes and concrete actions including:
Profile of the coordinator: The coordinator should be appointed based on relevant skills and competences in order to work meaningfully on the issue of Islamophobia as a form of racism. This will also facilitate the relationship and trust with NGOs who have extensive knowledge about the issue and its manifestations.
Clear mandate: The role of the coordinator should be clarified, in terms of representation, official communication and actions that can be undertaken, also defining the remit of issues to be covered.
Communication and consultation process: Transparency is key to build trust with civil society organisations who are on the ground in direct relation with communities. Communication and consultation processes need to be clarified to ensure meaningful participation of civil society.
Concrete objectives and action plan: The role of the coordinator cannot only be about listening and bringing issues to the political level without any accountability. The coordinator needs to set concrete objectives to achieve during their mandate and work on an action plan with evaluation processes.
At a time when parties using blatant islamophobic rhetoric have come to power in a number of EU member states, we need a clear signal from EU policy makers that they are committed to ensuring equality and inclusion for all members of European society.
European Muslims feel part of Europe but when will European society reciprocate?
New data released this week show that Muslims in Europe face discrimination in all areas of life. We need to start shifting our perspective and promote inclusive narratives and practices with regard to Muslims' presence in Europe. Too often, they are seen as a 'problem to manage', writes Julie Pascoët.
The signatories are part of an informal European coalition against Islamophobia, a platform of anti-racist/human rights/faith-based NGOs combatting anti-Muslim racism and hatred.

(Farid Hafez, editor of the Islamophobia Studies Yearbook and co-editor of the European Islamophobia Report and Salzburg University)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Govt`s pragmatic step is needed to save Bangladesh from adverse impact of global warming


A RECENT study has shown that Bangladesh is among the countries 'most at risk' as over one billion people in the world are lack of air conditioning and refrigeration to keep them cool and to preserve food and medicines while global warming increasing temperatures. More electricity demand for fridges, fans ...

Football »

Harry Kane wins Golden Boot


England captain Harry Kane has won the Golden Boot after finishing as the World Cup's top scorer with Croatia's Luka Modric winning the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament.Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard was the second-best player, with France forward Antoine Griezmann third.His French team-mate Kylian Mbappe won ...

Football »

Luka Modric (left) poses with the Golden Ball with Kylian Mbappe holding his Young Player Award on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Mamo, Mehazabien together


Entertainment Report :Zakia Bari Mamo and Mehazabien Chowdhury came to showbiz from the common platform. Both of them have common respect to each other. They won the hearts of many viewers by virtue of presenting their acting skills in last Eid works. Directors can easily rely on them. In last ...

City »

President candidate of a faction of BFUJ Molla Jalal, among others, at a journalists' rally organised by 'BFUJ Nirbachane Dabi Adai Sangram Committee'at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding declaration of BFUJ election result.


International »

Gaza mourns teenage boys killed in Israeli air raid


Al Jazeera News :Umm Luay zooms in on a photograph on her mobile phone and kisses the screen, again and again.In the photo, her son, Luay Kaheel, is seen smiling alongside his friend, Amir al-Nimra. The two teenagers, 16 and 15 respectively, died on Saturday minutes after an Israeli air ...

Editorial »

Nobody could enjoy freedom to foil peaceful movement of students


ONCE again, the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday assaulted some students and teachers of Dhaka University to foil their human chain programme at Central Shaheed Minar demanding release of three quota reformists. The reformist leaders Jashim and Moshiur were shown arrested in a case filed for the attack ...

City »

HT Imam, Political Adviser to the Prime Minister was present as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting marking the 2oth founding anniversary of the Ministry of CHT Affairs at Cirdap Auditorium yesterday.


International »

N Korea, US hold talks on war dead repatriation


AFP, Seoul :North Korean and US military officials met at the inter-Korea border Sunday to discuss repatriation of the remains of American troops killed during the Korean War, a report said.Returning the remains of the US soldiers who perished during the 1950-53 conflict was part of a deal signed by ...

Football »

Belgium players celebrate after Thomas Meunier`s goal gave them an early lead in the third-place playoff against England.


Sports »

After baby steps, Serena plans giant leap in Wimbledon final


Serena Williams was reduced to tears by her daughter Olympia's first steps at Wimbledon, but now the seven-time champion is planning a giant leap of her own in Saturday's final against Angelique Kerber.Just 10 months after giving birth, Williams can complete an incredible comeback as she bids to become the ...

Editorial »

UN-Myanmar deal cannot remain secret : We must not undermine UN efforts


The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Monday claimed that a secret deal has signed between the United Nations and Myanmar over repatriation of Rohingyas staying in Bangladesh. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Myanmar government and UN's two offices -- UNDP and UNHCR. TIB somehow seems not happy ...

International »

White House official who favored more refugee admissions is out


Reuters, Washington :A White House official who supported higher numbers of refugee admissions to the United States and clashed with immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration left her position on Thursday, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the departure said.Jennifer Arangio, a senior director at the White House National Security ...

City »

International Society for Krishna Consciouness brough out a rally in the city on Saturday on the occasion of Rathyatra, a religious festival of the Hindu Community.


Entertainment »

Kajol has an interesting role in Helicopter Eela


Three years after her last release Dilwale, Kajol is all set to return to the big screen after with Pradeep Sarkar's Helicopter Eela. The actress will be seen playing a possessive mother in the film. She gives up her dream of becoming a singer to raise her only child. Her ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news