Vienna, 23 Jumadil Awwal 1437/2 March 2016 (MINA) – The Muslim communities in Europe not only face an increase in number of Islamophobic hate crimes since the recent attacks in Paris, but they also suffer due to legal loopholes that allow such offenses to go unpunished, experts told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Discrimination against Muslims in Europe has increased since the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and injured many others, Bekir Gunes, head of Belgium-based think tank, Thinkout, told AA on February 19.
Gunes noted that security policies in Europe were making a direct impact on the rights of Muslims, saying, “Our rights should not be restricted on the pretext of terrorist incidents,” International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
He added there were certain legal loopholes in Europe that did not punish people who commit Islamophobic crimes.
“In most places you cannot open a case personally [over a complaint of Islamophobic crime],” he said, adding that certain new legal arrangements for such crimes should be made.
Azra Junuzovic, the deputy chief of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Unit under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was quoted by AA as saying on February 19 that intolerance and discrimination against Muslims posed a serious problem. He also said discrimination against Muslims is on the rise, according to recent research.
More than 40 million Muslims live in Europe, according to the U.S.-based think tank Pew. (T/P006/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)