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  • EFOMW Statement, European Day against Islamophobia 21 September 2017

  • Today as we mark the European day against Islamophobia, a new opportunity arises for the European Union, its leaders and decision-makers to take concrete action against the constantly rising discriminations faced by Muslims across Europe. 

    Women are the most vulnerable victims of this discrimination, as they face a complex mix of direct acts of violence, discrimination, social exclusion, media prejudice, structural sexism and for those from an ethnic minority background, racism. 

    This year saw the further spread across European countries, of laws and policies  restricting muslim women in their choice of clothing, but also of verbal and physical attacks against women.  2017 was also the year the European court of Justice ruled that employers could ban visible religious symbols including the headscarf. Such a ruling, further complicated the access to the labour market for muslim women. 

    The backing of this headscarf ban by the highest court of justice in Europe, is a serious threat to the principles of equality, justice and freedoms that the EU must uphold and is also symptomatic of a general context  where prejudice on the basis of religion or gender is consider illegal but an exception is made for Muslim women.

    The stigmatisation and exclusion of Muslim women will continue to reinforce social divisions, increase isolation and create further tensions in a Europe that desperately needs better social participation and engagement from all segments of society.  

    We hence urge EU institutions to take heed of those alarming facts and to work with EU member states for the adoption of national strategies to tackle Islamophobia in its intersectional dimension to ensure the protection and inclusion of Muslim women.  

    The European forum of Muslim women remains committed to its fight against Islamophobia and for the advancement of women’s rights. We will remain steadfast in building of a strong and dynamic network of Muslim women organisations working together. An inclusive and coherent Europe can only exist if we all rally our voices in the quest for justice and equality. 

  • 21.09.2017
European Forum of Muslim Women EFOMW
Rue Archimède 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium