19 C
Thursday, September 28, 2023
    HomeNewsAustraliaEuropean governments accused over ‘suppression of Muslim civil society’

    European governments accused over ‘suppression of Muslim civil society’

    - Advertisement -

    OSCE conference in Poland hears plea for member states to protect Muslim citizens from Islamophobia and ‘state racism’

    Lamies Nassri said Islamophobia in Denmark was "no longer a far-right issue" (Screengrab)

    Lamies Nassri said Islamophobia in Denmark was “no longer a far-right issue” (Screengrab)


    Simon Hooper

    Published date: 29 September 2022 13:35 UTC | Last update: 2 days 19 hours ago


    Muslim civil society organisations have raised the alarm about a rising tide of state-sponsored Islamophobia in Europe at a major security and human rights conference in Poland.

    France, Denmark and Austria were among countries singled out over policies which campaigners said were contributing towards a “systematic suppression of Muslim civil society” across the continent.

    Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw on Thursday, Lamies Nassri, a project manager at the Centre for Muslim Rights (CEDA) in Denmark, said Islamophobia was spreading throughout Europe and called on governments to protect their Muslim citizens.

    Nassri told delegates: “It is your responsibility as member states to see to it that citizens in these member states are protected from state racism, surveillance, stigmatisation and violence both symbolically and physically.”

    Highlighting the situation in Denmark, Nassri said Islamophobia was being “enabled directly through state policy and participation” and was “no longer a far-right issue but is shared across the political spectrum”.

    Nassri said many Muslims in Denmark faced discrimination through the country’s categorisation of people from non-western backgrounds which, she said, took precedence over their rights as Danish citizens.

    Table of Contents

    ‘Ghetto laws’

    She cited the impact on Muslim communities of the so-called “ghetto laws”, a package of measures targeted at deprived neighbourhoods with large populations from migrant and ethnic minority backgrounds which the Danish government says are necessary to promote integration.

    Nassri said the laws were discriminatory against Muslims and ethnic minorities, depriving them of their rights and portraying them as “enemies within the state, who live in parallel societies that must be fought”.

    Danish government accused of discrimination over ‘ghetto’ evictions

    Read More »

    “We also see this targeting in the way Muslims families are portrayed as oppressive and controlling toward their children and, as such, need to be surveilled,” she added, citing a law requiring non-western residents in “ghetto” neighbourhoods to put their children into state nurseries from the age of one “to get instruction in Danish values and language”.

    Campaigners from France highlighted the impact on Muslim communities of the so-called “imams’ charter” which was adopted last year by the French Council of the Muslim Faith at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron.

    Elias d’Imzalene of French NGO Perspectives Musulmanes said the charter amounted to an “Orwellian policy” which sought to impose “a new reading of Islam ordered by the state”.

    “The police threaten to close any mosque denouncing this new inquisition while a political hunt is also carried out, targeting the dissenting voices of the community, thus making Muslim expression essentially criminal,” said d’Imzalene.

    Muhammad Rabbani, the managing director of Cage, a UK-based advocacy organisation also working in France, said French Muslims faced a “state-led programme of repression” in which organisations critical of government policies faced being censored, shut down and criminalised.

    Citing the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, and violence and discrimination against Indian Muslims enabled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, Rabbani said: “France has now joined the company of China and India, who are both carrying out a religious persecution of an entire Muslim minority.”

    ‘Real-life nightmare’

    The conference also heard from Nehal Abdalla, an advocacy officer at ACT-P, an Austrian organisation formed to support children caught up in police raids in the aftermath of Operation Luxor.

    Austrian counter-terrorism police raided 70 Muslim households and arrested 30 academics and activists in the November 2020 operation, but none were subsequently charged with any offence.

    Abdalla said that families and children caught up in the early morning raids had awoken to a “real-life nightmare” which amounted to “terrorising the Muslim community”.

    She said: “Operation Luxor has succeeded in spreading terror across the Muslim community despite failing to even prosecute one individual successfully. The manner in which these raids were designed and executed revealed a state-sanctioned programme of Islamophobia.”

    The OSCE describes itself as “the world’s largest regional security organisation”, drawing together 57 member states from Europe, Central Asia and North America.

    With the conference taking place in Poland against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, OSCE officials also stressed the importance of defending human rights and fundamental freedoms in opening remarks at the 10-day event.

    Zbigniew Rau, the Polish foreign minister and current OSCE chair, said: “Human rights are inalienable, and their articulation and defence are among the greatest achievements of humanity. Denying human rights to anyone, especially the vulnerable and weak, is to take away their dignity and their sense of freedom and security.”

    OSCE Secretary-General Helga Maria Schmid hailed the work of civil society organisations, telling the conference: “Sustainable security cannot be achieved without human rights, democracy and rule of law.”

    Delegates at the conference will next week discuss the impact of counter-terrorism policies on human rights in the OSCE region.

    According to a note on the session in the conference programme: “The abuse of ‘anti-extremism’ laws and the labelling of civil society and those expressing dissenting views as ‘terrorists’ or ‘extremists’ in many countries across the OSCE is raising growing concerns.”

    source https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/europe-muslim-civil-society-suppression-governments-accused

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Keep exploring...

    Complete Guide to Eid Prayer: Rituals, Cleanliness, Process, and More

    Eid Prayer is a significant festival in Islam, marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. One of the most important aspects...

    Eid Al-Fitr: A Comprehensive Guide to Recommended Acts on the Day of Celebration

    Eid Al-Fitr, often referred to as "Eid," is one of the most significant and joyous festivals in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end...

    Related Stories

    Inspiring Journey: Guinean Student’s Epic Bike Ride to Secure a Spot at a Top Islamic University

    In a remarkable display of determination, Mamadou Safaiou Barry, a young Guinean student, embarked...

    12th Islamic World Ministers of Culture Conference Endorses Doha Declaration to Revitalize Cultural Endeavors

    Under the distinguished patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani,...

    Agong Urges Muslims to Embrace Prophet Muhammad’s Virtues on Maulidur Rasul

    In a heartfelt address on Maulidur Rasul, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa...

    Assessing Nehru’s Impact on the Plight of Indian Muslims

    Pratinav Anil's latest literary endeavor, "Another India: The Making of the World's Largest Muslim...

    President Wickremesinghe Encourages Unity Among Muslims to Address National Challenges

    In a special address commemorating Milad-un-Nabi, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has called upon the Muslim...

    Iran Expresses Outrage Over Holy Qur’an Desecration in Netherlands

    In an official statement released on Thursday, the spokesperson for Iran's Ministry of Foreign...

    India’s Treatment of Muslims: A Concerning Pattern of Alienation

    In his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul...

    Eid el-Maulud: Benue and Bauchi State Governors, Muslim Leaders Advocate Religious Harmony

    In a demonstration of unity and goodwill, Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, alongside...

    Explore More Articles

    Welcome to the enlightening realm of our Islamic Articles Page – a digital sanctuary where knowledge, spirituality, and the rich tapestry of Islamic culture converge. In an era where information flows ceaselessly and the world seems to spin faster each day, our platform stands as a steadfast beacon of wisdom and reflection.