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  Human
NGOs call for curbing Islamophobia in Europe
19/09/2014 | LOC20:52
17:52 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
BRUSSELS, Sept 19 (KUNA) -- Ahead of the European Day Against Islamophobia, a network of European human rights and anti-racism organisations Friday jointly called on EU leaders and decision makers to recognise Islamophobia as a specific form of racism and to tackle this increasing phenomenon. The European Day Against Islamophobia, on 21 September, has been initiated this year by the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe's No Hate Speech Movement.
According to an online survey by the European human rights watchdog, Muslims are the second most targeted group by online hate speech in Europe. Islamophobia - a form a racism targeting individuals or groups on the basis of their real or perceived belonging to the Muslim population - is widespread in many European countries, noted the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) in a press release.
In France for instance, 691 Islamophobic acts were recorded in 2013 , a 47 percent increase compared to 2012, with women being the primary victims.
In the United Kingdom, 734 cases were reported between May 2013 and February 2014. "Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim suffer from discrimination, stigmatisation and exclusion in all areas of life such as employment, education, vocational training, services and political participation, but also from racist speech and violence, especially on the internet," said the statement.
"We call on the EU institutions to publically recognise and condemn Islamophobia as a form of racism. Efforts to fight this phenomenon need support at the highest level, but so far there has been little political will," it said.
A first step would be to mark this European Day Against Islamophobia by publicly condemning this increasing phenomenon in Europe, it suggested.
The Brussels-based ENAR is a pan-European anti-racist network working for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racist actors in Europe. (end) nk.gb
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