EFOMW participated in consultation meeting on: ‘Practical Guide on Understanding Hate Crimes against Muslims and Addressing the Security Needs of Muslim Communities ‘, organised by OSCE / ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) in co-operation with the Goethe University’s Academy for Islam in Science and Society, in Frankfurt on June 25-26.
The OSCE has long addressed issues of discrimination and intolerance against Muslim communities. Growing needs and demands for a more robust and decisive approach towards hatred and discrimination against Muslims resulted in the initiative to produce a guide that would be covering the topics related anti-Muslim hate crimes and security needs of Muslim communities.
Using the model of the practical guide: ‘Understanding Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes and Addressing the Security Needs of Jewish Communities’ , ODIHR has embarked on the development of a specific tool that could support OSCE participating States in their efforts to address the security needs of Muslim communities and improve their response to anti- Muslim hate crime and assist relevant Muslim activists, government officials and parliamentarians to be better equipped to address the security needs of Muslim communities.
ODIHR has prepared a first draft text of the Practical Guide for Security of Muslim communities and were looking for feedback in order to make “a well informed and useful Guide for cooperation between police representatives and Muslim communities”.
Participants, including representatives of law enforcement agencies, government agencies working on human and minority rights and Muslim communities had the opportunity to share their experiences and needs and to provide input and suggestions on a draft.
EFOMW stressed the need to put the onus on the authorities on securing muslim communities and also to reach out to civil society rather than just mosques and imams as they may not necessarily represent or engage with all muslims or individuals perceived as muslims. This was important as the guide is meant also as a training tool for national police forces and we need the latter to understand the full scope of the hate crimes that affect muslim populations.