Growing Islamophobia in Europe is feeding extremists, says Labour MEP

27th May 2016
Growing Islamophobia in Europe is feeding extremists, says Labour MEP

Elham Asaad Buaras

The Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee has claimed that the rise Islamophobia in Europe is playing into the hands of extremist groups like Daesh.

Labour MEP for the North West of England, Afzal Khan, made the remarks last month during a session he chaired as part of the European Parliament’s capstone de-radicalization of Muslims conference.

Speaking at the opening of the “way forward” session of the conference, Afzal Khan MEP said: “The challenge of radicalization is an issue that affects us all. And as such, it requires a common response and common solution. This has never been just about Muslims. It is about the whole of our European society, and includes our fellow citizens, Muslims and non-Muslim.”

“The prevailing European narrative at the moment is that of Muslims as outsiders, of Muslims as different. Growing Islamophobia in Europe plays into the hands of ISIS and other extremist groups who radicalize Muslims. As ISIS grows, so does the far right, each using fear and terror to advance their agendas. We must stop this vicious cycle.”

The European Parliament’s capstone de-radicalization of Muslims conference, was hosted by Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament and Antonio Tajani, the Parliament’s Vice-President in charge for religious dialogue.

The conference focused on the challenge European Muslims face fighting radicalization, and presented several successful projects and initiatives from EU Member States. The conference brought together a large number of European officials, policy makers, civil society representatives and religious leaders.

 

[Photo: European Parliament MEP Afzal Khan. Photographer: Keith Etherington/Creative Commons]

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