Xenophobia, Racism Grip EU: Report
Europe is gripped by a dangerous rising of racism and xenophobia and the traditional European values of tolerance and welcome are washing away with European politicians fueling racist prejudices against foreigners across the continent, said a new report b
"The overall picture as regards contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination is complex and worrying," said the report which was released Friday, May 15, by the Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
The report said that intensified manifestations of racism and intolerance can be observed in all Europe of Council's 46 member-states.
"We're starting to shut people out of our communities, it's a very sad development," ECRI president Eva Smith-Asmussen told reporters to mark the release of the report.
"Europe is built on values like taking a humanitarian approach, tolerance. But it looks as if all of a sudden the most important thing is security, and other things have to be sacrificed."
The report said that discrimination is persisting on a daily basis in many European countries.
"Many people still suffer from discrimination in important fields such as employment, education, housing, health," it said.
The ECRI also said discrimination against Roma, black people and Jews was a serious problem in Europe and had increased in some places over the past few years.
It also cited an increasing hostility against Muslim minorities across Europe.
"The ECRI is concerned by the increasing climate of hostility towards persons who are Muslim, or who are believed to be Muslim," it said.
It also "deplores the manifestations of Islamophobia which can be noticed under different guises within European societies."
A recent report by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia said that Muslim minorities in Europe face deep-seated discrimination in jobs, education and housing.
A British study has also shown that the media and film industry were perpetuating Islamophobia and prejudice by demonizing Muslims.
Asmussen said that in some states, police conducting spot checks seemed to target Muslims more than other people.
The report notes that the fight against terrorism had led to the adoption of discriminatory legislation in many European countries.
A report by Amnesty International said on Wednesday, May 23, that anti-terror policies have fuelled discrimination and intolerance against Muslims, Arabs and other ethnic minorities in Western countries.
The Amnesty report said that the so-called war on terror was dividing the world and fueling serious human rights abuses.
The ECRI report blamed European politicians for fueling racist prejudices against foreigners.
"Lots of politicians seem to think that this is what the public wants to hear," said Asmussen.
The report said that politicians were playing with people's fears about jobs and economic security and brandishing immigrants as scapegoats.
"The tone of political debate has not only hardened considerably, but has also tended to stigmatize entire communities, notably foreigners," it said.
"This process of stigmatization provides a breeding ground for racial discrimination towards this part of Europe’s population."
Source: Islamonline Last Mod: 25 Mayıs 2007, 23:50