EFOMW participated in the high level meeting on tackling intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in the EU,  in Brussels on 3rd December 2018. The event was organised in the context of the Commission’s work on combating anti-Muslim hatred under the auspices of the High-Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. It gathered representatives of national authorities, civil society, academia, the religious community, EU agencies and international organizations.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss challenges and identify good practices and possible actions at different levels in order to contribute to the fight against hatred, discrimination and intolerance against Muslims in the EU. 

EFOMW’s advocacy coordinator, Hajar El Jahidi, attended the meeting and also moderated the panel on ‘Discrimination and Inersectionality’. 

This important meeting gives possibility to civil society working against Islamophobia to engage EU member states and with European institutions on working towards policy changes to improve the inclusion and achievement of equality for muslims in Europe.

Amongst the recommendations (by the coalition of civil society organisations working against Islamophobia, that EFOMW is part of)  following was presented:

  • Support the adoption or improvement of national policies against racism, such as National action plans against Racism, with specific measures or strategies to counter Islamophobia, including measures to tackle intersectional discrimination targeting Muslim women (on the model of theBarcelona action plan against Islamophobia);
  • Adopt guidelines to implement an intersectional approach to religious dress restrictions by recognising these restrictions mostly target Muslim women and are against full gender equality. These guidelines could promote non-discriminatory approaches to enable the full inclusion of all Muslim women in all areas of life. Assessment of existing legislation should be done taking into account this approach;
  • Develop and promote harmonisation of data collection in areas of hate crime and equality, recognising anti-Muslim bias as a category. These data should be disaggregated by multiple grounds of discrimination, including gender, race, ethnicity and religion.

Read the full list of recommendations (addressed to the Member States and the European Institutions)

During the meeting, the European Commissions Coordinator on tackling Anti-muslim hatred agreed to organise follow up meeting between civil society and member states to discuss national action plans for tackling this problem.