Joint Statement by coalition of European Muslim NGOs attending the OSCE’s Human Dimension Conference 2022

September 30, 2022
Audio
<span style="font-weight: 400;">We the undersigned, are a group of leading European Muslim NGOs working to highlight and campaign against Islamophobia. In recent years, we have documented the alarming rise of state sanctioned powers and legislation targeting Muslims living in Europe. These policies usually co-opt the language of ‘combatting terrorism and extremism’ but also often weaponise anti-migrant rhetoric and racist tropes. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">This has materialised in laws that: </span> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">forcibly evict families who live in social housing areas with a majority of Muslim families, because they are perceived as a threat to national security, as is the case of Denmark,</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a state wide persecution of Muslims and dictation of a state sanctioned Islam as seen in France through the ‘systematic obstruction policy’ and ‘Imam’s charter’, </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a manipulation of the legal system to silence and </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">criminalise</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Muslim communities through fear and intimidation as in </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">the violent Operation Luxor raids</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Austria, </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the targeting of Muslim children in schools through the Islamophobic PREVENT policy and passing laws that relegate Muslims to second class citizens, as in the UK,</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the systematic shut down of Muslim schools in Sweden,</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">and the mass profiling and discrimination of Muslims based on their religious practices in the Netherlands.</span></li> </ul> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Globally also, European states are increasingly complicit in the persecution of Muslims by profiteering from despotic regimes or unethical trading practice such as purchasing goods procured through the forced labour of Uyghurs in East Turkestan.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">These developments can no longer be viewed as isolated from one another. We believe that there is an endemic of state led Islamophobia across Europe. This is allowing </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">anti-Muslim hate to pervade across society and provides the ‘green light’ for racism and islamophobia to fester.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">For state led Islamophobia to continue unimpeded, European governments have censored and criminalised dissenting views and deliberately curtailed freedom of association of Muslim civil society. Various measures have been used including attempts to deny us access to state officials, block us from organising functions, closing our bank accounts, pursuing our organisations and their leaders with politically motivated and malicious investigations, or in some cases closing and banning our organisations. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">European governments are exploiting fears and prejudices about Islam and Muslims to build an arsenal of extraordinary authoritarian powers that start off by targeting their Muslim minorities but will eventually come to threaten the freedoms and liberties of all its citizens.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We warn European leaders of pursuing this course of action which will risk </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">repeating the horrors Europe’s leaders created only 70 years ago and of the more recent genocide in Bosnia.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">We call on the citizens of Europe to take action now before it is too late. Democratically elected European government's have been complicit in mainstreaming far-right talking points and have set in motion a return to an authoritarian and fascist Europe. Europe’s citizens must organise to oppose this.</span> &nbsp; <b><i>Signed by:</i></b> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perspectives Musulmanes (France)</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">CAGE (UK),</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Assisting Communities Traumatised by Police (Austria)</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lighthouse Advocacy (UK)</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Centre for Muslims’ Rights in Denmark (CEDA) (Denmark)</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">INSAN (Sweden)</span></i></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Muslim Rights Watch (Netherlands)</span></i></li> </ul> &nbsp;

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Joint Statement by coalition of European Muslim NGOs attending the OSCE’s Human Dimension Conference 2022
Statements & Press Releases
Joint Statement by coalition of European Muslim NGOs attending the OSCE’s Human Dimension Conference 2022
Statements & Press Releases