Islamophobia Thriving In Europe, New Report Says

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Source: Huffington Post

By Akbar Shahid Ahmed

A new study on Islamophobia in 27 European countries offers evidence of how the phenomenon is thriving, threatening ideals of diversity and democracy across the continent and inspiring acts of anti-Muslim violence.

“Muslims are seen as the enemy ‘within,’” editors Enes Bayrakli and Farid Hafez write. “Thus, physical attacks and political restrictions can often be carried out and even defended in an atmosphere of wide distrust and enmity. Islamophobia is by no means confined to the working poor or the middle class, who have been misinformed about Islam and Muslims. It is especially true for the so-called educated elite. Discriminating policies like the ban of the hijab for certain professions, the ban of the niqab in public, bans of minarets and other laws restricting Muslims’ freedom of religion speak volumes.”

The European Islamophobia Report 2016, set to be launched Friday, features work from 31 scholars.

This is the second edition of the report. In introducing the concept in 2016, the editors noted that most member countries of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, or OCSE, did not collect official information on hate crimes against Muslims. They said they wanted to explore discrimination in matters beyond physical and verbal abuse and immigration policy, looking at the ways people suffer because of their association with Islam in overlooked areas like employment, school curricula and cyberspace.

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