ISLAMABAD (UNA-OIC) – The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mr Hissein Brahim Taha, said that the phenomenon of Islamophobia in Europe should be addressed through an integrated approach that looks at, documents, and deconstructs Islamophobic discourse in a realistic manner, toward constructive advocacy for Muslims living in Europe.
Director General for Political Affairs Mr Mohamed Takiya of the OIC General Secretariat spoke to the Contact Group Meeting on Muslims living in Europe on behalf of the Secretary-General. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 48th session of the OIC Council of the Foreign Ministers (Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 22-23 March 2022).
The Secretary General said that the OIC is concerned over the growing trend of hostility toward Muslims in Europe, and the smear campaigns against Islam. He pointed out that Muslims are in dire times where they suffer discrimination in all areas of social life, with Islam being depicted as standing poles apart from the European tradition.
The impact of populism was reflected in the 2019 European parliamentary elections, the Secretary-General underlined, explaining that the trend of increasing popularity of far-right political parties across Europe was made possible notably through demonizing and stigmatizing Muslims and presenting them as alien to European societies and cultures.
The Secretary-General went on, “Muslims in Europe have come under attack as ‘alien’, as culturally incompatible whether because they allegedly refuse to assimilate, or because allegedly they cannot do so while preserving their religious and cultural identity.”
Muslims continue to experience mounting incidences of violence prompted by hate speech and discriminatory intent, he added.