IslamismSeptember 28 2022, 13:46 pm

Islamophobia Researchers Publish Report Accusing European Governments of Anti-Muslim Racism

On 21 Sep­tem­ber 2022, the 2021 edi­tion of the annu­al Euro­pean Islam­o­pho­bia Report (EIR) was pub­lished by a group of Euro­pean Islam­o­pho­bia researchers, some of them tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. The report accus­es sev­er­al Euro­pean gov­ern­ments, specif­i­cal­ly Aus­tria and France, of anti-Mus­lim racism and struc­tur­al dis­crim­i­na­tion. Accord­ing to a sum­ma­ry on the EIR website:

The present report inves­ti­gates in detail the under­ly­ing dynam­ics that direct­ly or indi­rect­ly con­tribute to the rise of anti-Mus­lim racism in Europe. This extends from Islam­o­pho­bic state­ments spread in nation­al media to laws and poli­cies that restrain the fun­da­men­tal rights of Euro­pean Mus­lim cit­i­zens and threat­en the whole of soci­ety. As a result, the Euro­pean Islam­o­pho­bia Report 2020 dis­cuss­es the impact of anti-Mus­lim racism on human rights such as free­dom of asso­ci­a­tion, free­dom of speech, and reli­gious free­dom, and the state of law in Europe. This sixth edi­tion of our report high­lights how the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has affect­ed the mobi­liza­tion of Islam­o­pho­bia, and how states like Aus­tria and France have imple­ment­ed their anti-Mus­lim leg­is­la­tion and mea­sures to threat­en Mus­lim civ­il society.

Read the rest here.

The 664-page report com­pris­es 31 coun­try-spe­cif­ic Islam­o­pho­bia reports authored by aca­d­e­mics and researchers through­out the con­ti­nent. It was co-edit­ed by con­tro­ver­sial Aus­tri­an Islam­o­pho­bia researcher Farid Hafez, a senior researcher at George­town University’s Bridge Ini­tia­tive, whose staff includes mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als tied to GMB groups in the US, includ­ing the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions and the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca. Hafez was a key sus­pect in 2020 raids by Aus­tri­an police tar­get­ing a large num­ber of Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als sus­pect­ed of ties to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Hamas. Hafez is also a found­ing mem­ber of the Mus­lim­is­che Jugend Öster­re­ich, an Aus­tri­an Mus­lim youth orga­ni­za­tion known to have been a mem­ber of the Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions, the Euro­pean youth/student umbrel­la of the GMB.

Until recent­ly, the EIR was pub­lished by the SETA Foun­da­tion for Polit­i­cal, Eco­nom­ic, and Social Research, a Turk­ish think-tank part of the Turk­ish influ­ence net­work and close­ly linked to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan. EIR co-edi­tor Enes Bayrak­lı served as SETA’s Euro­pean Stud­ies Direc­tor and was the found­ing direc­tor of Yunus Emre Cul­tur­al Cen­ters, a Turk­ish pub­lic foun­da­tion. For its 2018 EIR, SETA received more than 120,000 euros from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. Pre­vi­ous EIR edi­tions have been crit­i­cized for not meet­ing sci­en­tif­ic stan­dards and try­ing to silence anti-Islamist activists. As of last year, the EIR is no longer being pub­lished by SETA for unknown rea­sons. The report iden­ti­fies its new pub­lish­er as Vien­na-based Leopold Weiss Insti­tute, co-head­ed by Hafez. Oth­er sup­port­ing orga­ni­za­tions include the Islam­o­pho­bia Stud­ies Cen­ter, a not-for-prof­it research orga­ni­za­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berkley, aimed at “coun­ter­ing the pres­ence of Islam­o­pho­bia in soci­ety” through applied research and edu­ca­tion. It is head­ed by Hatem Baz­ian, board chair of the Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, a Pales­tin­ian advo­ca­cy group with strong ties to both the GMB and the Hamas sup­port infra­struc­ture in the US.

A 21 Sep­tem­ber 2022 vir­tu­al report pre­sen­ta­tion and pan­el dis­cus­sion fea­tured EIR co-edi­tor Bayrak­li and was co-orga­nized by sev­er­al Euro­pean Mus­lim advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions with GMB ties, including:

  • Euro­pean Net­work on Reli­gion and Belief (ENORB) a Euro­pean inter­faith orga­ni­za­tion that includes only Euro­pean GMB groups as Islam­ic mem­bers. Its found­ing mem­bers include the Cor­do­ba Foun­da­tion and the Coun­cil of Euro­pean Mus­lims, the lead­ing umbrel­la group rep­re­sent­ing the GMB in Europe.

 In Novem­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that Hafez and Bayrak­li par­tic­i­pat­ed in a web pan­el dis­cus­sion orga­nized by SETA that accused France of Islamophobia.


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