EU Commissioner: Discrimination against Muslims on the rise in Europe

BRUSSELS, June 14 (KUNA) — EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova warned Tuesday that after the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks discrimination against Muslims in Europe has spread.
“In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks, we have also observed direct and widespread discrimination and stigmatisation of Muslims, as well as a surge in the number of anti-Muslim incidents,” she said in her speech at the launch of the EU High Level Group on combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance in Brussels today.
She noted that “in France, for example, individual attacks against Muslims increased by 53% in 2014 compared with 2012. After the Paris attacks things have even taken a turn for the worse.” Jourova warned that “toxic narratives about migrants and religious minorities fuel not only fears and prejudices but also hatred against those who are perceived as foreigners by local populations.” “Over recent years, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance have been growing and spreading across Europe at a toxic speed. For the first time today, all actors are sitting around the same table. We will use this High Level Group as a platform to discuss concrete ways to prevent and counter hate speech and hate crime,” she said.
She underlined that the EU is equipped with laws to combat racism and xenophobia, as well as a law on victims’ rights that protects all victims, including victims of hate crime.
But Jourova added that “laws on paper are not enough. It is urgent to improve investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, raise the awareness of hate crime victims and provide them with the necessary support.” (end) nk.nfm