On the occasion of the European day against Islamophobia Project MEET was presented within the High Level panel organized by FEMYSO and ARDI – European Parliament Anti Racism and Diversity Intergroup .
Monday, 21st of September we participated to the event together with a number of experts on Islamophobia and gendered Islamophobia, as Sanja Bilic, European Forum of Muslim Women, Fatima Younsi, Collectif des 100 diplômées, Tommaso Chiamparino, European Commission Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred and Hande Taner, FEMYSO, Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth.
The panel saw the intervention of MEPs Evin Incir, Co-President of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, S&D, Sweden and Samira Rafaela, Co-President of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, Renew, Netherlands and the Keynote address by EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli and Director of the FRA Michael O’Flaherty.
The panel has been a very fruitful occasion to share the growing concerns about the spreading of gendered Islamophobia, as well as promising input to continuing working together as civil society and side by side with institutions for ensuring Muslim women and girls the full respect of their rights and fundamental freedoms.
Director Michael O’Flaherty gave us a very precise yet worrying image f the growing scale of Islamophobia in Europe, citing the data collected by FRA: “in Europe 34% of women describe clothing as a trigger for discrimination, 39% of women wearing headscarf out of home experienced offensive gestures” and inquiring among the general population a survey by FRA detected the shocking figure of “21% of people in the EU who consider acceptable not to hire a woman because she wears a headscarf.“
Commissioner Dalli addressed her keynote speech illustrating the content of the newly released Eu Anti- Racism action plan a very ambitious program, which intends to fight racism and discrimination at 360 degrees, with a decisive commitment by the Commission on improving legislation, ensuring stronger monitoring and empowering Equality bodies among other actions.
We did share the initial findings about our focus groups carried out during the latest six months and what we are going to do next in our project, engaging youth and local communities to develop an effective counter narrative and deconstruct stereotypes on Muslim women and girls.