Setting up collective action in Europe

This european project, MEET, is aptly named! It helps to gather various actors involved in the promotion of equality. In the context of the setting up collective action in Europe, we have had the chance to contact local actors who could be interested in joining our partnership in the fight against gender-based islamophobia. In Belgium, POUR LA SOLIDARITE-PLS has been able to reach people from civil society and public institutions, all united by the desire to act to prevent islamophobia against girls and women.

From the very beginning of their first meeting, the members of this group chose a name that appeared to be the most appropriate to the missions they all happily agreed to fulfill. Welcome CRACIS, the Thinking and action committee against sexist islamophobia (or, in French, Comité de Réflexion et d’Action Contre l’Islamophobie Sexiste). But, why such a name? Everything stands in it: to the reflective one, its members decided to add the active dimension, as they intent to have a concrete impact, on the field, namely thanks to the recommendations they will address to authorities. It was also essential to explicitly mention the gender-based dimension of islamophobia, as this phenomenon reaches more the girls and women. The C, for “Contre” (“against” in English) marks their willingness to pursue the fight against islamophobia.

It is well-known, we have to know our enemies in order to defeat them. That is why the members of CRACIS agreed on the following definition of islamophobia, already used by a broad range of actors active in the antiracist fight in Belgium. This way, the object of this fight they will jointly lead is constituted of :

“[a]ll the acts of violence (hate speech, harassment, discrimination, hate crimes) that target at least a person, a property or an institution on the basis of her/his/its belonging – actual or presumed – to the Islamic religion. This violence can be oral, psychological, physical and/or economical” .

unofficial translation from the original French version

Let’s see which further progress will be achieved through the actions undertaken by our local partners, contributing to MEET – More Equal Europe Together project !

Article by Louise Pigeolet, for POUR LA SOLIDARITE-PLS (Belgium)