Turkish commission on Islamophobia, racism meets with Dutch officials

BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA

 ANKARA JUN 03, 2022

A Turkish parliamentary commission on racism and Islamophobia met with Dutch officials in the Hague, Netherlands, June 2, 2022 (AA Photo)

A Turkish parliamentary commission on racism and Islamophobia met with Dutch officials in the Hague, Netherlands, June 2, 2022 (AA Photo)

ATurkish parliamentary sub-commission on combating Islamophobia and racism in Europe gathered with Turkish nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Dutch officials in The Hague on Thursday, as these problems continue to pose risks for many citizens in European countries.

Hakan Çavuşoğlu, the head of parliament’s human rights commission, said the issue of racism and Islamophobia in the Netherlands is similar to that of Europe in general, which is in poor condition.

“We see a rise in racism, Islamophobic acts and attacks in Europe and witnessed that this posed a threat to the Muslim community,” he said, adding the growing discrimination across the Netherlands and Europe also brought along challenges for other ethnic and religious minorities.

Some central parties in Europe are using far-right discourses for the sake of votes, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that the media rhetoric regarding the Muslim community was biased.

He further referred to a pre-election leaked report prepared by the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, which works under the Netherlands’ Justice and Security Ministry, stating that it manipulated the public view by saying that the mosques affiliated with Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) were linked to the extremist groups in the report, which also made “baseless allegations” against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to the Turkish official, the report sought to pave the way for fear among the Dutch community and several Turkish people with dual citizenship were put on a black list for donating or assisting mosques and associations.

On top of this, the people who were blacklisted were deprived of their benefits, and this dragged families into financial grievances, enabling social service authorities to separate them from their children, he said.

Some families failed to find their children as their names were changed, he said, noting that the commission discussed this matter with the NGOs it contacted.

Furthermore, he underlined that the commission’s visit helped create awareness of Islamophobia and discrimination among the Dutch authorities and Turkey welcomed the Dutch move to appoint a coordinator to combat racism and discrimination.

“Turkey will always take essential steps to defend the rights of its citizens,” he said.

According to a recently published report, titled “European Islamophobia Report 2020,” a total of 901 Islamophobic crimes were registered by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany in 2020.

Eighteen anti-Islam demonstrations were held and 16 were organized by the racist PEGIDA movement in Germany during the same year.

Furthermore, 2020 saw a rise in online Islamophobia as coronavirus lockdowns were imposed and life shut down across Europe, according to the report.

Islamophobia in Europe has “worsened, if not reached a tipping point,” said the report, underlining the fact that even centrist and mainstream political movements on the continent legitimize targeting Muslims with the excuse of fighting extremism.

The Turkish community in Europe is concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries and has called on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.

Turkish officials, including Erdoğan, have frequently urged European decision-makers and politicians to take a stance against racism and other types of discrimination that have threatened the lives of millions of people living within the bloc’s borders.

source https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/turkish-commission-on-islamophobia-racism-meets-with-dutch-officials

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