|Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 08:25 am: ||
EU report: Muslims face 'Islamophobia'
Study compiled by European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia says Muslims across Europe confronting rise in violent attacks to discrimination in job, housing markets; report notes Muslims need to do more to counter negative perceptions driven by terrorism
Muslims across Europe are confronting a rise in "Islamophobia" ranging from violent attacks to discrimination in job and housing markets, a wide-ranging European Union report indicated Monday.
The study, compiled by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, urged European authorities to strengthen policies on integration. But it also noted that Muslims need to do more to counter negative perceptions driven by terrorism and upheavals such as the backlash to cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The 117-page survey details the many divides between the EU mainstream and the estimated 13 million Muslims — now at least 3.5 percent of the 25-nation bloc's population — and seeks to offer a street-level view of the complexities blocking efforts to bridge the differences.
"The disadvantaged position of Muslim minorities and evidence of a rise in “Islamophobia” and concern over processes of alienation and radicalization have triggered an intense debate in the European Union," said Beate Winkler, director of the Vienna-based group.
The report reinforces the growing urgency of tackling religious tensions and suspicions in Europe.
Last week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called tolerance one of the "essential values" of his nation and denounced "hate mongers, whatever their race, religion or creed."
The reeport cited hundreds of reported cases of violence or threats against Muslims in the EU since 2004, including vandalism against mosques and Islamic centers, abuse against women wearing Islamic headscarves and attacks, such as a Somali family in Denmark assaulted by a gang carrying baseball bats emblazoned with swastikas and racist slogans.
"America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect." - GWB
After all, the Shoah did not start with ovens. It began with words of hate. - M.J. Rosenberg