Anti-Muslim Racism working group
Depending on the country, manifestations of anti-Muslim racism are connected to specific political, historical, and social relations. However, similarities in patterns can be pinpointed in how Muslims and people perceived as such face intolerance, hatred, and discrimination in all European countries. Academic research and reports from civil society organizations show that Muslims experience violence, verbal harassment, and structural forms of discrimination regarding equal access to education, the labor market, and the housing market. Anti-Muslim racism endangers the rights of Muslim citizens and the peaceful coexistence in democratic, open, and free societies. Inclusion policies at the local level may have a tremendous impact by, e.g., offering easy and accessible ways to report episodes of discrimination and racism, developing measures related to the delivery of basic services, and empowering the political voices of those affected by anti-Muslim racism. Followingly, ECCAR is committed to building equal, inclusive, and cohesive societies and protecting the inhabitants of our cities from discrimination of all forms.
To support its member-cities to tackle anti-Muslim racism, ECCAR established in December 2020 a permanent working group led by the City of Heidelberg that received funding from the European Commission for the year 2021. The establishment of the working group was based on the outcomes of the ECCAR General Assembly 2020 (Bologna, 19-20 November), where a working group on Islamophobia was held. An overarching first recommendation was establishing a structured working group to discuss local policies to fight anti-Muslim racism within ECCAR member cities. The working group would help ensure that the fruitful discussion at the General Assembly would not remain as a one-off but function as the first step of a longer process, which will entail sharing good practices, tools, and solutions.
In 2021, the working group commenced with the project on good practices tackling anti-Muslim racism locally. The project's aim was to analyze how local governments can take action against anti-Muslim intolerance, hatred, and discrimination in their capacities as democratic institutions, rule-makers, employers, service providers, and public contractors. From June 2021 until January 2022, the working group collected and documented good practice initiatives from various cities throughout Europe that focus on targeted measures for tackling anti-Muslim intolerance, hatred, and discrimination in different areas and through multiple strategies.
Project Coordination: Linda Hyökki, Anti-Muslim Racism Program Officer at ECCAR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This project has been financially supported by the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers from April 2021-January 2022