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PACE committee calls for action to counter 'dramatic spike' of Islamophobia in Europe

Momodou Malcolm Jallow (Sweden, UEL),

PACE's Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee has expressed its deep concern at the steady increase in manifestations of Islamophobia in Europe, "which has reached a dramatic spike in recent years". According to the Committee, stereotyping based on depicting Muslims as alien to, and incompatible with, European culture and values leads to further stigmatisation and exclusion.

The unanimously adopted draft resolution, based on the report by Momodou Malcolm Jallow (Sweden, UEL), says that Council of Europe member states should work to build an open and inclusive society and address the root causes of anti-Muslim racism and discrimination, " including stereotyping, prejudice, stigmatisation and scapegoating of individuals and groups perceived as different from the majority of the population".

In this sense, the text calls on Council of Europe member states to "adopt action plans on preventing and combating Islamophobia" or to ensure that action plans against racism and discrimination "refer to and address Islamophobia specifically".

The Committee stressed that the fight against terrorism must be carried out with respect for human rights and, in this sense, calls for counter-terrorism legislation and policies to be " sufficiently circumscribed to avoid them being used in arbitrary and discriminatory ways".

Politicians should speak out against Islamophobia and all other forms of intolerance, and political parties should sign the Charter of European Political Parties for an Inclusive and Non-Racist Society as called for by the Parliamentary Assembly.

Awareness-raising and information campaigns and activities aimed at the general public should convey the message that “preventing and combating Islamophobia, like any other form of racism, is the responsibility of all members of society".

The report will be debated at the next PACE plenary session (Strasbourg, 10-14 October 2022)