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Combating anti-Muslim hatred

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Fundamental rights

date:  07/10/2019

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Activities and Events

The Coordinator delivered a keynote speech (see this link at minute 16:50)  at the event organised by the EU and Canada in the context of the UN Human Rights Council on 5th March 2021. The event was meant to launch and discuss the latest report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed on “Anti-Muslim Hatred as an Obstacle to the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief”.

On 25-26 January 2021 the Coordinator co-organised with Equinet a workshop bringing together 50+ civil society organisations and representatives of equality bodies from a variety of Member States and candidate countries. The purpose of the workshop was to explore concrete methods and avenues for cooperation on combating anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination. The follow up to the workshop will be a toolbox with a list of actions to be implemented at national level. More information about the event, including the toolbox once published, can be found at this link.

On 20 November 2020 the Coordinator co-organised and moderated a working group on “Protecting vulnerable groups. A focus on the dimensions of education, youth and communication in the fight against discriminations towards Muslims at the local level” as part of the “CommunicAction” General Conference of the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism. The working group featured good practices by a variety of cities, including Cologne, Berlin, Bologna, Barcelona, Heidelberg and Helsingborg. Among the key recommendations emerged from the discussion, the proposal was to establish a permanent working group within the network to have a regular exchange of initiatives on fostering inclusion of Muslim communities at city level. The ECCAR General Assembly which followed few days after the conference agreed to this proposal.

18 June 2020: The Coordinator chaired a high level virtual conference on “Fighting discrimination on grounds of religion and ethnicity: vulnerabilities of Muslim communities and the effects of the coronavirus crisis”, in cooperation with the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European network of Equality bodies, EQUINET. The conference was attended by representatives of national authorities members of the High Level Groups on combating racism and xenophobia and on non-discrimination, equality and diversity; representatives of equality bodies, of relevant international organisations as well as of civil society organisations working on the ground. Commissioner Dalli opened the event with a keynote address. The summary of the conference is available at this link.

29 May 2020: Virtual Roundtable of the Coordinator with civil society organisations. The meeting took place via video conference and was attended by representatives of 25 civil society organisations both Brussels based (e.g. ENAR, Open Society Foundations) and from national level (Spain, Austria, Greece, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Croatia), representatives of FRA, Council of Europe/ECRI, OSCE/ODIHR. The report is available at the following link.

April 24 2020: a message from Commissioner Helena Dalli at the beginning of Ramadan:

A message of solidarity this Ramadan

On 19 December 2019, the Coordinator hosted a seminar bringing together a diverse range of experts from civil society, international organisations, national authorities and academia to explore the need for and possibility to develop a working definition of anti-Muslim hatred / Islamophobia, in order to contribute to policy responses related to the fight against hatred, racism and discrimination, in particular targeting Muslims. The report prepared collectively by the participants to the workshop can be accessed at the following link. The role of the Commission and the Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred was to facilitate the discussion.

31 August 2019: message by the Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans published on the occasion of the Islamic New Year. The message confirms the Commission’s engagement on tackling intolerance, hatred and discrimination targeting Muslims in Europe.

24 - 25 June 2019: Workshop on synergies and good practices on tackling anti-Muslim racism and discrimination, co-hosted by the European Commission and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security of Spain. Over 100 participants from civil society organisations and public authorities across all the EU Member States coming together to make progress on cooperation to tackle intolerance, hate crime and discrimination against Muslims or people perceived as being Muslim. The agenda of the workshop as well as an overview of the good practices presented can be consulted by clicking on the hyperlinks.

Group phptp

The summary report of the workshop is now available (updated: 7 October 2019).

14 June 2019: the Commission coordinator speaks at Eurocities working group to foster initiatives by cities to foster inclusion of Muslim communities and non-discrimination on the ground. The main points and ideas for further cooperation can be found here.

3 December 2018: the Commission hosts a high level conference on tackling intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in the EU. The conference will gather over a 100 representatives of national authorities, civil society, academia, the religious community, EU agencies and international organisations.  By sharing good practices, the aim of the event is to identify key actions at all levels to address intolerance, racism and discrimination against Muslims in the coming years. A link to the programme is available here.

Summary report of the conference (7 February 2019)

11 April 2018: Country mission – The Netherlands. Coordinator addresses Symposium on Islamophobia organised by EMCEMO with the collaboration of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the participation of NGOs, researchers, national authorities and the Dutch Human Rights Institute.

28 March 2018: First Vice-President Timmermans holds roundtable with European Muslim leaders (for more information)

8 December 2017: Coordinator chairs the 4th Roundtable with NGOs working on anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination.

28 November 2017: Mission to Council of Europe. Bilateral meetings with the Commissioner for Human Rights and his advisers, the Policy Planning Directorate and the Executive Secretary of ECRI.

24 November 2017: Country mission – Sweden. Panel discussion at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and bilateral meetings with senior advisers from the Ministry of Culture and Democracy. Visit to Stockholm's main mosque and bilateral meetings with the mosque's leadership and with Islamic organisations under the auspices of the mosque.

22 November 2017: Coordinator chairs joint roundtable on anti-Muslim hatred and Antisemitism with interfaith and community representatives from the Visegrad countries organised by the European Network against Racism (ENAR) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

17-18 October 2017: Country Mission – France. Bilateral meetings with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Délégation interministérielle à la lutte contre le racisme, l'antisémitisme et la haine anti-LGBT (DILCRAH), the Observatoire de la Laïcité, the Rector of the Grande Mosquée de Paris, the Etudiants Musulmans de France and the Institut de recherche et d'étude sur les radicalités religieuses, sociétales et politiques (INRER).

2-3 October 2017: First internal training for Commission staff on anti-Muslim hatred.

28 September 2017: "Engaging Muslim Young People in the Future of Europe Debate". 29 Muslim university students and activists from 17 Member States discussed issues as diverse as social Europe, globalisation, workplace discrimination, identity, European citizenship, radicalization, EU foreign policy, migration and integration in this one-day conference organised by the Coordinator in coordination with the European Parliament.  


Pictures: ©European Union 2017

21 September 2017: Message  (please find here the FR version ) by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, to the Muslim community on the occasion of European Action Day countering Hate Speech against Muslims and on Islamic New Year.

30 May 2017: Coordinator co-organises Joint Day of Action against Antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination  together with OSCE-ODIHR, ARDI and the European External Action Service.

30 May 2017: Coordinator chairs 3rd extended roundtable with organisations working on anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination, jointly with ODIHR-OSCE.

6-7 April 2017: Country Mission - Austria. Bilateral meetings with Austria's Islamic Community, Alewite Community, academics and the Federal government

5 April 2017: Coordinator addresses Informal EU-28 Meeting on Dialogue of Cultures and Religions organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, in Vienna 

21-24 February 2017: Country Mission – Germany. Bilateral meetings with the Council of Muslim students, the Alewite community in Germany, the Association of Islamic cultural centres, NGOs, MP Claudia Roth and the Federal government 

17 January 2017: Coordinator addresses United Nations High-Level Forum on Combating Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hatred.

19 December 2016: Coordinator chairs 2nd roundtable with organisations working on anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination/Islamophobia .

17-18 November 2016: Country mission - Malta. Coordinator meets representatives of the Malta Muslim Council, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Muslim students in Malta

14 November 2016: Coordinator meets the Grand Mufti and high-level delegation of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina

21 October 2016: Coordinator meets newly-appointed Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the European Union, Her Excellency Ismat Jahan.

17 October 2016: Coordinator holds bilateral meeting with Gilles Clavreul, Head of the French Délégation Interministérielle à la Lutte Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme (DILCRA), in Paris.

29 September 2016: Coordinator presents the framework for the EU's engagement with Muslims at Sarajevo conference. Speechpdf(305 kB)

21 June 2016: Coordinator participates in and addresses the Fundamental Rights Agency's Forum in Vienna.

14 June 2016: Coordinator chairs panel on anti-Muslim hatred in the inaugural session of the High-Level Group on racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance .

8 June 2016: Coordinator addresses High-Level Group on non-discrimination, equality and diversity.

3 May 2016: Coordinator meets the Austrian authorities in Vienna to discuss the Austrian Islam Law.

28 April 2016: Coordinators address joint panel with Muslim and Jewish organisations organised by The Netherlands Presidency of the EU.

10 March 2016: Coordinator meets with US Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Shaarik Zafar .

3 March 2016: Coordinator addresses the Open Society Foundations platform on Islamophobia in Central and Eastern Europe.

2 March 2016: Coordinator addresses the Women against Islamophobia Public Hearing in the European Parliament.

16 February 2016: Coordinator addresses the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup Roundtable on the outcomes of the Commission's Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights.

9 February 2016: Coordinator participates in Ambassadorial panel on Combating religious intolerance hosted by the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva.

27 January 2016: Coordinator chairs 1st roundtable with organisations working on anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination/Islamophobia.

1 December 2015: The European Commission appoints Mr. David Friggieri as Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred.

Annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium

Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe, Brussels, 1-2 October 2015