WHAT IS ISLAMOPHOBIA? *
Islamophobia is a specific form of racism that must be tackled. Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim suffer from discrimination, stigmatisation and exclusion in all areas of life such as employment, education, vocational training, services and political participation, but also from racist violence and speech, especially on the internet.
* Definition by enar-eu.org
IS THIS A REAL PROBLEM?
Yes, it is. The rise in Islamophobia in Europe has manifested itself through the spread of fake news and hate speech on social media, episodes of discrimination and even serious violent attacks.
Reliable resources are available to research this issues:
The Chatham House survey “What Do Europeans Think About Muslim Immigration?“(2017) shows public opposition to further migration from Muslim countries in the majorities of members states.
The Ipsos Perils of Perceptions Survey(2016) demonstrates that
many countries over-estimate their Muslim population by a staggering amount. For example, in France the average guess is that 31% of the population is Muslim when it is actually 7.5%. At the same time countries hugely overestimate the levels of growth in Muslim populations over the next four years. The average guess in France is that 40% of the population will be Muslim in 2020 when the actual projection is 8.3% (an increase of just 0.8% from the current level of 7.5%).
WHY WOMEN AND GIRLS?
The discrimination suffered by Muslim women develops in a broader context of gender inequality in Europe where women are still underrepresented in media, in decision making, and gaps in salary and career opportunities are not solved yet.
Fundamental Rights Agency reports in its finding that Muslim women are more likely to suffer discrimination and harassment in particular if wearing religious symbols: more than one third of women interviewed wearing headscarf or niqab experienced harassment because of their background