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  • EFOMW at the European Commission's Colloquium on Fundamental Rights
  • On 1-2 October 2015 the European Union convened a high-level colloquium on combating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, the European Commission's first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights hosted by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Věra Jourová.

    It was the first time that the European Commission organised such a Colloquium and it was great opportunity for representatives from both Muslim and Jewish communities, but also the other groups from across the Europe, to discuss how to combat antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred.


    The organizers noted that, the two phenomena, different in origins, history and manifestations, have in common a worrisome increase of hate incidents and are by their impact exemplary for other forms of hatred and intolerance.

    During these two days, local, national and EU policy makers, international and civil society organisations, religious and community leaders, equality bodies, representatives from the worlds of education, work and media, and renowned academics and philosophers joined discussions about underlying reasons for antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents in the European Union, their impact on people's lives and right, but also the concrete ways to step up collective action to prevent and combat antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

    EFOMW’s president Lamia El Amri also took part in the discussions and raised problems and difficulties that Muslim organizations and Muslim women in general face in Europe today. (Such as structural discrimination, exclusion from the public debate but also problem of intersectionality when it come to Muslim women. It means that Muslim Women is being exposed to multiple discrimination because of gender, religion, often also ethnicity, etc.)

    See/listen to Lamias intervention here.


    Many important issues were raised during discussions and several key points highlighted, such as:

    ·      The crucial role of education in preventing discrimination and hatred

    ·      The importance of supporting young leaders and civil society to foster exchanges between different communities and promote grass-root projects

    ·      Importance of combating Hate speech, which incites to violence and hatred, (particularly online)

    ·      Need for appropriate investigation, prosecution and sentencing (when it comes to hate crime)

    ·      Better implementation of existing anti-discrimination law and filling existing legislative gaps.

    ·      Importance of preventing radicalisation, by supporting progressive views, developing counter-narratives and fostering common spaces where communities can meet and discuss.


    The following key actions can be drawn from these discussions. They concern all actors present and call for close collaboration and ownership:


    • Empower those active at local level to build a culture of tolerance and respect, in particular through education; · Fight hate speech by working with IT companies, civil society and the media;
    • Ensure implementation of hate crime laws and new EU rules on protecting the rights of victims of crime and improve recording and data collection of hate crime incidents;
    • Promote diversity and enforce and strengthen non-discrimination rules.



    One of the conclusions is that: “Combating anti-Muslim and antisemitic hatred is not an issue for the Muslim and Jewish communities alone. It is an issue about society as a whole. It is about basic principles and our core values". (ComissionerVera Jurová)


    Because of importance of combating these phenomena the First Vice-President Timmermans announced the nomination, of two coordinators within the Commission, one for antisemitism and one for Islamophobia, to help ensure coordination of European efforts on antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

    More from the Colloquium inclusive: opening Speech by Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner Jourová's concluding remarks, discussion notes, background material, recording of the whole colloquium and more you can find here

    Conclusions (pdf) from the Colloquium

    Read more about What/which are Fundamental Rights here. 

  • 18.11.2015
European Forum of Muslim Women EFOMW
Rue Archimède 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium