First published at the Gates of Vienna. Admin
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Congress in Vienna
European Muslims Demand Guidelines Against Islamophobia
“Freedom of speech in Europe entails responsibility”
Vienna — The initiative of European Muslims for Social Solidarity is demanding guidelines against Islamophobia in public discourse. Freedom of speech in Europe implies responsibility, which is often forgotten by political leaders and journalists, said General Secretary Bashy Quraishy on Friday in Vienna at a congress of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europa (OSCE).
Islamophobia has established itself in public discourse in Western society, lamented participants of the congress against discrimination and intolerance against Muslims. “From prejudices, we have advanced to an institutional racism in which any visible sign of Islamic faith is perceived as a threat,” said Ermine Bozkurt, Socialist representative in the European parliament.
Muslims do not want special treatment, but the same protection that has existed for a long time against homophobia and anti-Semitism, opined Quraishy.
Criticism of the congress came from Citizens’ Organization Pax Europa (Bürgervereinigung Pax Europa [sic, should be Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa]). There was, said delegation leader Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, no reason for special treatment of Muslims, since they had the same rights as all others anyway.
Earlier this year, the OSCE had already discussed anti-Semitism and crimes against Christians.