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Muslim Policies and Bias in Europe
February 9 at 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST
Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing about the laws, government policies, and societal biases that negatively impact Muslim communities in some European democracies.
In March 2021, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief informed the UN Human Rights Council that institutional suspicion of Muslims had reached “epidemic proportions.” Depending on the context, anti-Muslim bias “targets individuals on numerous grounds, including religion or belief, race, nationality, gender, migratory status, and ethnic origin, resulting in the intersection and confluence of discrimination based on religion or belief and other grounds.” In Europe, surveys show 4 in 10 citizens hold unfavorable views towards Muslims, and acts of discrimination and violence targeting Muslim communities in the region are on the rise. This bias manifests through laws, discrimination in public institutions, online harassment, prejudice through the immigration process, and violent societal attacks, which peaked in 2017 across 29 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and disproportionately impacted Muslim women.
Witnesses will provide an overview of anti-Muslim laws and government policies across Europe and explain how these policies intersect with issues such as terrorism and migration. The hearing will highlight specific cases in France, the United Kingdom, and Hungary, as well as how the Bosnian Muslim genocide nearly 30 years ago is impacting Europe and how the discourse of genocide is instrumentalized today.