A new report published by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) details how racism in Belgium increasingly manifests itself through Islamophobia. The country’s 600.000-strong Muslim community faces, according to the report, an increasing amount of structural discrimination in the employment and educational sector as well as in questions of access to public and private services. Of the racism classified as religiously based, 80% is aimed at Muslims in Belgium. What’s more important however is the role of the Belgian media, which is presented as highly Islamophobic with 51% of the annul media complaints received to be connected to Islamophobia. Additionally, 19% of employment complaints and 11% of educational complaints were related to anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiments and actions.
The ENAR also points out to the exclusion of students who choose to wear the hijab from the education system, even if no legal degree endorses these regulations. The organisation requests the Belgian government to implement and ensure the freedom of religion of Muslims by repealing all provisions on the prohibition of the hijab and other signs of convictional practices at school