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Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia in Europe

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11558 | 04 April 2008

Mr Mikhail MARGELOV, Russian Federation ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Claudio AZZOLINI, Italy ; Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Nikolaos DENDIAS, Greece ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Göran LINDBLAD, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Hryhoriy OMELCHENKO, Ukraine ; Mr Leonid SLUTSKY, Russian Federation, SOC ; Mr David WILSHIRE, United Kingdom, EDG
Referred to the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, for report, and to the Political Affairs Committee, for opinion (to deal with paragraph 3 of the motion); Reference No. 3442 (Standing Committee, 29 May 2008).

Islam is one of the main religions that have traditionally been present in Europe. A system of civilisation has emerged and evolved on its basis that has become an integral part of Europe’s cultural heritage in virtually all European countries. In its absence, Europe would not have been so culturally diverse and interdependent, so open to different historical traditions and world views.

In this respect certain debates that have emerged about the role of Islam in the cultural and historical heritage and contemporary life of Europe cause some concern. Sometimes they become so tense that they may call into question social peace, dialogue between civilisations and co-operation between European countries. One reason for the contradictory assessments of the role of Islam in contemporary Europe has been the manifestations of radicalism on the part of certain Islamic communities. This situation runs counter to the values of the Council of Europe and undermines intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, which has been a priority for the Organisation.

The Assembly should seriously and thoroughly consider the role of Islam and Muslim culture in the cultural and historical heritage of Europe, with a view to discussing, among other things, Islamophobia as a manifestation of intolerance and discrimination that is incompatible with the values of the Council of Europe. The Assembly needs to formulate a clear-cut political stance in favour of promoting a value-based dialogue with Islam and the Muslim culture present “on the European soil”, thus responding to the United Nation’s call for the “dialogue of civilisations” to be promoted globally.

The Assembly considers that the situation should be studied in detail and that a report should be prepared on the matter.