Following a series of events on antisemitism and religious intolerance in 2021 (see summary of main activities 2021), a public seminar specifically on the topic of anti-Muslim racism and discrimination was held in Strasbourg on 7 June (programme). International and national experts shared their experience in the light of the issues raised in the General Policy Recommendation by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) on preventing and combating anti-Muslim racism and discrimination.
The seminar took place in the framework of “Fáilte: Fostering a Europe of welcome, inclusion, and diversity”, one of the three priorities of the Irish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. The meeting was opened by Irish Ambassador Breifne O’Reilly and Rabbi Mendel Samama, responsible for European relations in Strasbourg. In his opening remarks, Ambassador O’Reilly stated: “We believe that diversity is beneficial to our societies and that protecting the human rights of minorities is an essential pillar of modern democracy”.
The seminar reached a number of key conclusions in order to better combat anti-Muslim racism:
- Implementing ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation in the member states.
- Raising awareness of anti-Muslim racism with policy makers.
- Improved statistical recording of anti-Muslim acts, including hate crimes online.
- Politicians and personalities speaking out against anti-Muslim acts.
- Identifying models of cooperation between Muslim organisations and/or representative bodies and governments.
- Supporting strategies and programmes to promote tolerance and combat hatred, especially among young people.
- Sharing experience and best practice of grass-roots initiatives, including Jewish-Muslim associations, such as the Amitié-Judéo-Musulmane in France and the Kreuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus in Germany.
- Supporting Muslim groups to address antisemitism and specifically anti-Israeli antisemitism.