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European Islamophobia Report 2019 – Press Release
SETA will publish 2019 European Islamophobia Report on 20th June Saturday after the opening panel of the Report. Edited by Enes Bayraklı and Farid Hafez European Islamophobia Report (EIR) published annually since 2015. The EIR 2019 includes a general assessment of Islamophobia in Europe in the year 2019 and 32 country reports that include almost all EU member states and additional countries such as Russia, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. The EIR 2019 brought together 32 scholars, experts, and civil society activists from various European countries who are specialized on racism and Islamophobia studies. They cover various issues from media, politics, and the justice system to the Internet, and offer concrete policy recommendations for civil society and politics. As our audience grows to include practitioners, scholars, and the general public, our website has acquired an audience from 165 countries, and the EIR and its findings have been cited frequently by international organizations, politicians, NGOs, scholars, and local and international media outlets.
In 2019, while the Islamophobic terror attack in Christchurch in New Zealand made the headlines, mosques have also been targeted in Germany, UK, France and Norway resulting to dozens of deaths and injured persons. Facing this rising threat, European states show an ambiguous stance. On the one hand, European governments work hard to track far-right terror groups and dismantle them. On the other, they participate in the normalization of Islamophobic discourses in Europe through discriminative declarations, bills and security policies targeting Muslim people. As the result of this normalization, not only far-right but also democrat and liberal majority governments started to put the life of Muslims into jeopardy and to undermine their fundamental rights.
In Austria for instance, the FPÖ submitted an amendment to change to School Teaching Act to include a hijab ban for pupils up to the age of 14 as well as for teachers; in Belgium, Halal slaughter ban was introduced; in Denmark, it became mandatory to shake public officials’ hands during citizenship ceremonies; in France, a bill to ensure so-called religious neutrality of persons contributing to the public service of education (i.e. banning headscarf in those services) was drafted by the Senate.
Besides the attempts of governments and political parties to implement legislations that directly target Muslims as religious subjects, mainstream media and private institutions are also responsible of spreading anti-Muslim feelings. In fact, one of the most striking examples of the normalization of Islamophobia in 2019 in Europe was the scandal around the Nobel Committee’s decision to award Peter Handke the Nobel Prize in Literature. During the Kosovo War, Handke expressed his wish to be “a Serbian-Orthodox monk fighting for Kosovo.” In 2006, Handke gave a eulogy at the funeral of Slobodan Milošević, the Serbian dictator responsible for the genocides against Albanians and Bosnians in the 1990s.
The European Islamophobia Report 2019 constitutes a precious source of knowledge for everybody – whether scholars or ordinary readers – interested in the development of racism and Islamophobia in Europe. Well-organized, complete and accessible, the EIR 2019 also represents a useful and valuable tool for any activist or policymaker who aims to tackle Islamophobia in a decisive manner. Indeed, all 32 country reports included in this book do not only analyse the Islamophobia phenomena but also explore pro-active solutions from the civil society.
We hope this compendium of useful insights and data will provide European policy-makers and institutions valuable tools to tackle anti-Muslim racism in Europe seriously.
The 2019 European Islamophobia Report and previous years reports can be downloaded from www.islamophobiaeurope.com
For further information contact:
Enrique Tessieri, European Islamophobia Report Finland chapter author
+358 40 8400773
* Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny, and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.