OSCE Side Event Sept 26, 2017
Venue: Meeting Room 2
Title: Announcement of annual report of ORIW in French Country in Europe
Convenor: Organisation Racism and Islamophobia Watch (ORIW)
Working languages: English, French
ORIW defined “Islamophobia” as “Intolerance motivated by fear, hate speech and acts of violence”. The fear is “fear of the other”. In 2014, 33 acts of violence. In 2015, 429. Examples of hate were objection to halal meat and Islamic clothing. One anecdote was a man who feared eating halal meat would make him Muslim! But shouldn’t a free people have a right to choose instead of a “racist” response?
It’s Islamophobic to fight the “flood of immigrants coming into the country”. It’s an outrage for Europeans to say they prefer Christian immigrants. It is not true that there is criminality and danger in immigrant camps. It is the European failure to help the immigrants properly that is causing the aggression. The solution is interfaith dialogue and education to overcome fear, (the root of the problem).
Every time “something happens” the adverse reaction against Muslims is like “pouring oil on the fire”. The fires of xenophobia are fanned by the right wing press. They publish stories that reinforce prejudice and hostility to Muslims: such as stories that the immigrants threaten the identity of France.
The French state cannot be secular. It needs to treat all religions “even -handedly”. A completely secular state is impossible. The Secular state stigmatizes Muslims. This stigmatization must be fought at three levels:
· Non-racist forms of legislation
· Muslim organizations to fight Islamophobia
TERRORISM AND ISLAM
Any tie between Islam and terrorism is rejected. Counter terrorism such as “de-radicalizing” programs or searches only leads to further radicalization. Muslims are your allies to fight extremism. To fight Islamophobia is to fight terrorism. We will help you marginalize the Extremists, and after all, Muslims are the victims of extremist attacks as well. Muslims are a permanent part of French society
Terrorism can be understood and fought. Bad schools lead to terrorism. Injustice to Muslims and denial of human rights means the terrorists “win”
Intolerance against Muslims is generic. Societies must respect Islam. The mandate of the 57 States is consensus based.
1. Hate crimes and discrimination
a. Training police and prosecutors
b. Recognizing hate speech
c. Examining freedom of criticism
2. Tolerance and non-discrimination
ODHIR Hate crime reporting
· Website (Nov 16th)
· Attacks in countries spike trends against Muslims
· Security policies in relation to Muslim Human Rights
· Political narratives that demonize Muslims/Faith in the media. One sided views
· Muslim Communities don’t feel safe
Europe must reject racism and xenophobia which goes against the principles of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Intolerance and discrimination against Muslims: guides actions of specific states. Muslims must participate.
All forms of terrorism linked to Islam must be rejected. We must build democratic societies where Muslims feel safe.
The concept that there is an “immigrant invasion of Europe” and the attack in Nice are being used to justify violations against Muslim human rights. This “radicalizes” the youth and is “pouring oil on the fire”.
Society says we can’t be anti-Semitic but maintains structural Islamophobia or denies it exists.
· Authorities create it
· Anti-burkini creates radicalization
· To say “Islam is a Trojan horse” fuels racism amongst low knowledge people. It is a new form of racism
· Intolerance is grounded in freedom of expression
A hate crime is something that’s already a crime that has a hateful motive attached: a bias having to do with race, religion or sexual preference.
Comment: Steve once again tried to pin them for a definition of Islamophobia and this time got a sociological definition that alluded to irrational fear of Islamic clothing.