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Islamophobia - Discrimination Against EU Muslims is Denial of Human Rights in Europe

Imam Sajid Islamophobia: Hostility and Discrimination against EU Muslims is denial of their basic Human Rights in Europe: An Islamic Perspective. Are Muslims new Jews of the current century? By IMAM Dr Mufti Abduljalil Sajid.

Islamophobia is on the rise across Europe as Muslims suffer widespread discrimination, physical attacks and verbal abuse, a new European Union report has revealed in a detailed report from the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

I am honoured -- and deeply humbled -- to be invited to speak to you on a very important issue of Hostility and Discrimination against the European Muslim commonly known as “Islamophobia” by Universal Peace Federation (UPF) on 21 to 22 November 2013 at Committee Room 14A House of Commons Westminster London SW1A 0AA.

Islmophobia: Hostility and Discrimination against EU Muslims is denial of their basic Human Rights in Europe: An Islamic Perspective. Are Muslims new Jews of the current century? By IMAM Dr Mufti Abduljalil Sajid.

Bis Millah HIR Rahma nir Rahim (I begin with the name of Allah the Merciful and the Mercy-giving) Assh-hadu an la ilaha ill-lal-Lahu Wah-hadu la Sharika Lahu Wa assh-hadu anna Muhammadan Abdu-hu wa Rasu-lu-hu. (I declare that there is no god but Allah, Allah is one and has no partner, and I also declare that Muhammad is Allah's servant and His last Messenge.) ). I greet you with the greetings of Islam (Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakathu (May God’s blessing and peace be with us all.)

I am honoured -- and deeply humbled -- to be invited to speak to you on a very important issue of Hostility and Discrimination against European Muslim commonly known as “Islamophobia” by Universal Peace Federation (UPF) on 21 to 22 November 2013 at Committee Room 14A House of Commons Westminster London SW1A 0AA.

Islamophobia is on the rise across Europe as Muslims suffer widespread discrimination, physical attacks and verbal abuse, a new European Union report has revealed. The detailed report from the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, the first of its kind, presented a host of examples ranging from mosque vandalisation to suspected racist murders in Germany and Spain. But the study has claimed that Muslims could do more to help by calling on leaders to strengthen policies on integration, and on Muslims to "engage more actively in public life".

It also highlighted the lack of reliable data, pointing out that only one country - the United Kingdom - publishes criminal justice data which specifically identify Muslims as victims of hate crime. "The disadvantaged position of Muslim minorities, evidence of a rise in Islamophobia and concern over processes of alienation and radicalisation have triggered an intense debate in the European Union," Beate Winkler, director of the Vienna-based group, which compiled the study, wrote.

The report cited hundreds of reported cases of violence or threats against Muslims since 2004, including vandalism against mosques and centres and abuse of women wearing Islamic headscarves.

Examples of physical attacks cited was that of a Somali family in Denmark that were set upon by a gang carrying baseball bats emblazoned with swastikas and racist slogans, and a case of pork fat being smeared on a mosque in Italy.

In Ireland thugs beat up a man after calling him "bin Laden" while a bogus email in Denmark outlined fake primary school reforms to help migrant children.

A maths question read: "Jamal has an AK47 with a 30-shot magazine. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and he wants to hit each cup 13 times, how many cups can he shoot before he needs to reload?"

In the Netherlands there was a significant jump in incidents following the murder in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh who made a controversial film criticising Islam.

In Greece in February 2005 Europe's oldest mosque in Europe, at Poliskio village in Xanthi, was damaged by gunshots. In the same month in Spain Azzouz Housni, a Moroccan farm labourer, was killed at El Ejido in Almería in what migrant groups described as a racist attack.

The report said that Muslims "experience various levels of discrimination and marginalisation in employment, education and housing" and are "vulnerable to manifestations of prejudice and hatred in the form of anything from verbal threats through to physical attacks on people and property".

A non-governmental UK organisation recorded more than 50 cases of violence against Muslim property, including places of worship in 2004-5, and more than 100 cases of verbal threats and abusive behaviour.

"Muslims feel that acceptance by society is increasingly premised on 'assimilation' and the assumption that they should lose their Muslim identity," Winkler wrote.

Since the September 11 attacks in the US many Muslims feel "they have been put under a general suspicion of terrorism," she added.

A view supported by the dozens of polls and case studies in the 117-page report.

"A question I have heard many times is: 'When are you going back?' I say: 'I was born in Rotterdam so where would I go?' It's a really painful question and makes you feel like a foreigner," a Dutch Muslim woman said in the survey.

It found that Muslims frequently found themselves worse off than other religious groups.

"Available data shows that European Muslims are often disproportionately represented in areas with poorer housing conditions, while their educational achievement falls below average and their unemployment rates are higher than average."

It found that Muslims frequently found themselves worse off than other religious groups.

Interviewees also agreed that Muslim women who wore headscarves found it hardest to get jobs, saying many employers feared they would drive away customers.

The report urged EU policymakers to fully apply anti-discrimination directives, mandate diversity training for police, ensure school classes are ethnically integrated, and encourage balanced media coverage to avoid stigmatising Muslims.

The war against terror belongs within the much larger spectrum of a far older conflict between settled, creative productive and predatory, destructive Orientals (Keegan Daily Telegraph in October 2001).

The increasingly negative political and media discourse in our World targeting Muslims and Islam is a matter of grave concern for the Islamic Ummah. Over the years, the growing intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, and insults against Islam have become pervasive and often condoned in certain Western countries and communities.

Among the instances of Islamophobia are the publications of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by newspapers in Europe, multiple campaigns for anti-Islamic regulations in several European countries including the imposition of restrictions on the construction of places of worship, and the impending screening of a documentary by a Dutch lawmaker, which insults the Holy Quran. They constitute incitements for negative sentiments and hatred against Muslims. Apathy, and inaction on the part of the governments concerned in preventing such provocations and discrimination against Muslims and Islam cannot be justified by the plea of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, such insults and intolerance against Islam are being provided intellectual justification by Western scholars and political lobbies who espouse anti-Islamic agendas, hence lending support to ideological violence against Muslims. Slogans such as “Islamo-fascism”, “Islamic Terrorism” and “radical Islam” are manifestations of and justifications for provocations and systematic insults against Islam. This phenomenon reflects the Islamophobia which afflicts segments of Western society.

The OIC Group believes that the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities, and does not provide a license to insult and hurt the sentiments and beliefs of others. It is the obligation of all States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in accordance with Article 20 thereof, to enact the necessary legislations to prohibit any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. The OIC Group observes that the European Court of Human Rights has previously ruled in favour of the interference by the State to prohibit media material in cases involving other religions to guard against igniting religious sensitivities, and expects equal treatment in cases involving Islam and Muslims’ rights.

The OIC Group in New York strongly deplores all acts of ideological and physical violence and assaults, and incitements thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and those acts directed against the Holy symbols, sites or places of worship of all religions. The Group is particularly and deeply alarmed by the intensification of the campaign of defamation against Islam, as it impairs Muslims' enjoyment of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and impedes their ability to observe, practice and manifest their religions freely and without fear of coercion, violence or reprisal.

Such acts against Muslims and Islam are inconsistent with the spirit of the UN Charter which seeks to promote peaceful co-existence amongst nations. They are in violation of numerous United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution 62/154 on combating defamation of religions, General Assembly resolution 55/23 on Dialogue Among Civilizations as well as the Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) which call upon all Member States, inter alia, to continue international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations, in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures. Such acts also erode the positive momentum generated by the launch of the Alliance of Civilizations and General Assembly’s High Level Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, which, inter alia, aim to overcome misunderstandings between Islam and the West.

In the above context, the OIC Group in New York wishes to remind the joint statement of the Secretary-General of the United Nations with the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference and the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union in Doha on 7 February 2006, which recognized that “in all societies there is a need to show sensitivity and responsibility in treating issues of special significance for the adherents of any particular faith, even by those who do not share the belief in question.”

In particular, the OIC Group believes that lack of action to prevent the reprinting of blasphemous caricatures, and indifference in airing the inflammatory documentary against the Holy Quran, will be perceived as manifestation of insincerity towards the principles and objectives of various efforts within the United Nations system aiming at promoting understanding and respect of and among cultures and civilizations.

The OIC Group urges the Secretary-General to call upon the Governments of the States that condone the publication of these blasphemous caricatures and media material as well as the campaigns for anti-Islamic regulations to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the repetition or continuation of these deliberate offensive acts, which impinge greatly on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion of the followers of Islam. The OIC Group requests the Secretary-General to publicly express his unequivocal opposition to all acts of Islamophobia, and to declare that no government should be complicit in undermining the ongoing efforts to promote harmony and friendly relations amongst the various cultures, religions and civilizations.

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