As European States take the necessary steps to enhance security against a well-organised, technologically savvy threat of terror, Secretary General Jagland has warned that governments must studiously avoid action which maligns or marginalises any religious group.
His comments came in the preface to a new overview of legal standards and guidance relating to Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights - the right to hold any religious belief and manifest and practice it with others and in public.
“We have already seen numerous calls by populists and petty nationalists for restrictions on Islamic practice and expression within our societies, as they attempt to exploit the current climate of fear. Such a backlash will only bring us more violence. If we act in ways which suggest that Islam is the problem, we simply reaffirm terrorist propaganda and provide a boost to the extremists now scouring our communities in the search for angry and alienated recruits,“ the Secretary General wrote.