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European Muslim Brotherhood Groups Call On EU To Adopt Anti-Racist Legislation Mitigating COVID-19 Impact

October 14th, 2020 06:27

A group of 17 Euro­pean civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions that includes sev­er­al groups tied to the Euro­pean Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has called on EU mem­ber states and insti­tu­tions to adopt broad polit­i­cal action to mit­i­gate the impact of the COVID-19 cri­sis on Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties. Accord­ing to a joint posi­tion paper:

The san­i­tary cri­sis caused by the out­break of the COVID-19 in 2020 in Europe will have a long-term effect on minori­ties in par­tic­u­lar, includ­ing Muslims. (…)

Crises are oppor­tu­ni­ties for pol­i­cy­mak­ers to adjust their poli­cies and mean­ing­ful­ly address racial issues, includ­ing islam­o­pho­bia. The fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for actions are key to ade­quate­ly respond to the cri­sis and tack­le the struc­tur­al man­i­fes­ta­tions of Islam­o­pho­bia by main­stream­ing it in key pol­i­cy areas.

Read the rest here.

The paper goes on to list key pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions address­ing struc­tur­al dis­crim­i­na­tion, Islam­o­pho­bia, as well as racism in law enforce­ment. It fur­ther calls for assess­ing restric­tions of free­dom of reli­gion in an upcom­ing New Strat­e­gy on the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights, whose adop­tion by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is planned for late 2020. The paper’s sig­na­to­ries also demand EU insti­tu­tions to:

Explore the pos­si­bil­i­ty to ini­ti­ate infringe­ment pro­ceed­ings based on the Employ­ment Direc­tive (2000/78/EC) to address the sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion faced by Mus­lim women wear­ing the headscarf.

The doc­u­ment was co-signed by sev­er­al groups tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) in Europe, a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the GIOR. The doc­u­ment was also brought for­ward dur­ing an NGO round­table with the EU Com­mis­sion coor­di­na­tor on com­bat­ing anti-Mus­lim hatred in late May 2020. Its sig­na­to­ries include:

  • Euro­pean Net­work Against Racism, for­mer­ly head­ed by Michaël Priv­ot, for­mer Vice-Pres­i­dent of FEMYSO

All of these groups are notably also mem­bers of an infor­mal “Euro­pean Coali­tion Against Islam­o­pho­bia” launched in 2019 that is main­ly com­prised of orga­ni­za­tions and one indi­vid­ual tied to GMB.

One of the paper’s co-sig­na­to­ries, the Euro­pean Net­work Against Racism, in the weeks lead­ing up to its release, had orga­nized infor­ma­tive exchanges high­light­ing the effects of COVID-19 on minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties, at one time host­ing a dia­logue with the Euro­pean Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diver­si­ty Inter­group (ARDI) and also pub­lish­ing an EU-wide inter­ac­tive map on the matter.

As part of a series, the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch (GMBDW) in June and July 2020 has ana­lyzed how GMB groups in the Unit­ed States and Pales­tine have tried to cap­i­tal­ize on devel­op­ments relat­ed to the glob­al COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. The GMBDW has also fre­quent­ly report­ed on attempts by the GMB to dom­i­nate the Euro­pean dis­course on Islam­o­pho­bia. Such report­ing has included:

  • In March 2016, the GMBDW report­ed that the Euro­pean Forum of Mus­lim Women had orga­nized a hear­ing at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment on the impact of Islam­o­pho­bia on Mus­lim women.
  • In May 2015, the GMBDW report­ed that FEMYSO held an Islam­o­pho­bia event in a facil­i­ty of the Coun­cil of Europe.
  • In Novem­ber 2013, the GMBDW report­ed that the “UK Islam­o­pho­bia Aware­ness Month” was con­trolled by the UK Mus­lim Brotherhood.
  • In May 2011, the GMBDW report­ed that a coali­tion of UK Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups held a con­fer­ence on Islamophobia.