New FRA report examines discrimination against Muslims

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) today released a report on discrimination against Muslims in the EU. The results for Muslim respondents indicate similarly high levels of discrimination and victimisation as for other minority groups surveyed. Many racist incidents are not reported to the police or to any other organisation. Knowledge of anti-discrimination legislation is low, and there is a lack of trust in complaints mechanisms.

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum: “Overall, the results suggest that Muslims are treated very differently, dependent on both their ethnic origin and their country of residence. Wearing traditional clothing hardly increases discrimination. Muslims surveyed do not consider religion to be the main reason for their discrimination.”

On average 1 in 3 Muslim respondents were discriminated against in the past 12 months, and 11% experienced a racist crime. The highest levels of discrimination occurred in employment.

Morten Kjaerum: “The high levels of discrimination in employment are worrying. Employment is a key part of the integration process. It is central to the contributions that migrants make to society, and to making such contributions visible. Discrimination may hamper the integration process”.

The FRA calls on EU governments to tackle the situation of discrimination by making people aware about how to make a complaint, improving the recording of discrimination and racist crime, better informing people of their rights, allocating more resources to integration measures, especially for youth, and strengthening the role and capacity of accessible mechanisms for reporting racist incidents.

The findings form part of the first ever EU-wide survey on immigrant and ethnic minority groups’ experiences of discrimination and racist crime (“EU MIDIS”). The report covers 14 EU countries.

Europe: Survey says 31 percent of Muslims in Europe suffer discrimination

A survey of ethnic minorities in Europe says that 31 percent of Muslims across the EU feel that they were discriminated against in 2008, and many fail to report racist incidents because of a lack of trust in the authorities. The report was compiled by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and surveyed 23,500 members of ethnic minorities and migrant communities in Europe. It collated the opinions of Muslims living in 14 European nations and minorities in general from the 27 EU member states. It found that about 30 percent of the discrimination cases occurred when Muslims were looking for work or at work, while 14 percent took place in restaurants, bars, or dealings with landlords. “The high levels of discrimination in employment are worrying,” FRA director Morten Kjaerum said. “Employment is a key part of the integration process. The survey found that 81 percent of those interviewed did not report discriminatory acts, largely because they believed that reporting them would not do anything. The report also found that wearing traditional or religious clothing does not increase discrimination. And most of the Muslims surveyed did not consider religion as the main reason for discrimination. Only ten percent of Muslims who experienced prejudice said this was solely due to their religious beliefs while over half of the respondents felt their ethnic origin was the reason for the discrimination. A full report can be read at the last link below.

Report on Racism and Xenophobia in the Member States of the EU

Executive summary: This report on racism and xenophobia in the EU is the first to be published since the creation of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on 1 March 2007, following the extension of the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). This report, although published by the FRA, is not the FRA Annual Report. It is a report which was produced on the basis of the EUMC legal base and mandate. It covers information and developments on racism and xenophobia in the EU for the year 2006, in the thematic areas of legal issues, employment, housing, education, and racist violence and crime. In addition, there is a final chapter covering developments and policies at the EU level in combating racism and xenophobia.