Expert Panel publishes its final report on Islamophobia

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The expert council on Anti-Muslim sentiments (UEM) was appointed after the racist attack in Hanau in 2020 and commissioned to conduct the study. The committee, which also EZIRE director Prof Mathias Rohe belonged to, identified and analyzed specific situations of Islamophobia in important areas of society during a two-and-a-half-year work phase. Findings and recommendations for action have now been presented in detail in a final report.

The following areas were investigated: politics, education, culture, justice, administration, and everyday life. Especially with regard to the social debate on discrimination, the development of anti-discrimination strategies and prevention concepts, highlighting the perspective of those affected is of great importance. Nevertheless, the focus of the analysis was not layed on Muslims, but rather on the analysis of the mentioned areas with regard to anti-Muslim sentiments and on increasing awareness of how deeply resentments are rooted in the society.

Islamophobia in all social and political areas

The report indicates that across German society, Muslims are perceived [by non-Muslims] as “lacking the ability to integrate” and having a tendency to consciously distance themselves and avoid contact with people of other faiths. Muslim women who wear a headscarf report that they are often the target of hostility. And there is widespread prejudice against Muslim men, who are believed to have an affinity for violence, extremism, and patriarchal values. The researchers say that the equation of Muslim piety with fundamentalism is particularly problematic. There is even a willingness to advocate restrictions on Muslims’ fundamental rights in the area of religious freedom and to deny them the right to equal participation.

The authors demand that Islamophobia be perceived as a social problem in all areas so that discrimination and exclusion of Muslims can be addressed by increasing awareness. To this end, the appointment of a federal commissioner for combating Muslim hostility would be an important step.

The report can be downloaded here (in German).