Report raises alarm over institutionalisation of Islamophobia in Europe – Middle East Monitor


Islamophobia is an ever-growing threat across Europe, with some countries enacting policies that have helped institutionalize an issue that should, instead, be ended urgently, a new report has warned.

According to the European Islamophobia Report 2021, Islamophobia was “as urgent a problem” across the continent as it had been in previous years.

He said that countries, such as the UK and France, were “hotspots of anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobic incidents.”

“Furthermore, the anti-Muslim campaigns of far-right parties in the EU Member States have a major impact on the discrimination against Muslim individuals and communities”, read the report, which focused on 27 European countries, and was prepared with contributions from 35 leading academics and experts in Gort.

The report links the persistence of anti-Muslim racism to “the background of a worrying general trend: the decline of liberal democracy in Europe”.

An infographic titled “The Institutionalization of Islamophobia in Europe” is created in Ankara, Turkey on September 22, 2022. [Muhammed Ali Yiğit – Anadolu Agency]

He warns that major forces in Europe, singling out countries such as France, are still “investing less in the fight against Islamophobia, and more … in the normalization of Islamophobia”.

“The Islamophobia being normalized and institutionalized by liberal democracies such as Austria, Denmark and France is alarming,” the report said.

Apart from Islamophobic incidents across Europe, the report details systemic discrimination faced by Muslims in all areas of life, from employment to healthcare, education and the justice system.

Islamophobia in numbers


As many as 1,061 anti-Muslim hate crimes have been recorded in Austria.

Most of the cases were online (68 percent), came from politicians (32 percent), and were in public (25 percent), the report said.

“The vast majority of the perpetrators were men (76.9 per cent) and the victims were mainly women (69 per cent),” he said.

Citing data from another anti-racism watchdog, ZARAthe report said 1,977 racist and anti-Muslim acts were documented, mainly targeting women.


According to the report, Islamophobic and racist attacks in Belgium were led by women.

He said that 89 percent of all cases reported to the Joint Committee for Inclusion and Against Islamophobia in Belgium involved Islamophobia against women.


852 hate crimes were recorded in 2020.

“Most of the hate crimes (88.5%) were due to national ethnic origin (75.8 percent) and religion (12.7 percent),” said the report.


213 anti-Muslim incidents were recorded in France in 2021.

“Among them, half (109) involve damage to Muslim places of worship, cultural centers and cemeteries, and 22 percent involve attacks on people,” the report said.

It was said in 2021 that there was “a higher level of violence in France in terms of language (with increasingly hateful and disturbing Islamophobic discourses) and approach (with laws suppressing religious, visible, organized and vocal Muslims) – violence that emphasizes the secondary place granted. for the Muslims of France in their own country.”


732 Islamophobic crimes were registered across Germany last year, according to the report.

These included 54 cases of attacks on mosques and 43 incidents where individuals were targeted.


The report stated that 14 cases of Islamophobic incidents were recorded in Greece in 2021.

“Politics, religion, media (both print and online), and the Internet continued to be the four main realms that played a significant role in the reproduction of Islamophobia in the Greek public domain during 2021,” read the report.

“Certain political parties and right-wing and right-wing politicians, (self-proclaimed) neo-liberals, figures of the Greek Orthodox Church, the print and electronic media, and journalists including their posts on social media have shown Islamophobia in Greece. .”


Hate crimes in Spain have risen by 41 percent in the past five years.

“From these crimes, 678 (37.6 percent) were racially or xenophobically motivated,” the report said, citing data from the Spanish Interior Ministry.


There were 996 cases based exclusively on religious grounds between 2017 and 2021 in Sweden, and the total number of hate crimes over the period was 14,710.

“However, the majority of complaints about religious discrimination were directly related to ethnic discrimination, 4,298 during this period,” the report said.

“Muslim children are overrepresented in statistics published by Sweden’s public health agency, where almost 20 percent of non-European children have suffered abusive treatment because of their ethno-religious background and discrimination at school has occurred more than 15 percent. “


Citing figures from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the report said 12 percent of the population had a hostile attitude towards Muslims, and 34 percent strongly believed negative stereotypes about the community.


There has been a “continuous increase in the total number of reported cases” in the UK, with authorities registering a 9 per cent rise from 2020 to 2021.

At least 45 percent of all “religiously motivated” hate crimes involved people of Muslim faith and background.

The number of these crimes has increased by 291 percent in the last 10 years, the report said.

READ: Ten years after 9/11, Muslims take up the fight against Islamophobia in the US

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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