Ethnic minorities face climate of fear, says race watchdog

Ethnic minorities face a “climate of fear and suspicion”, with Muslims, asylum-seekers and refugees bearing the brunt of growing hostility to immigrants, an investigation into racial prejudice in Britain has concluded.

A Europe-wide human rights watchdog noted the high numbers of attacks on minorities and said that anti-Muslim discrimination had intensified in the four years since the 11 September attacks. It criticised “negative attitudes” among the police to blacks and Asians, the disproportionate number of non-white prisoners and the exploitation of “racist and xenophobic discourse” by the far right.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), set up by EU heads of state to investigate racism and xenophobia, denounced the use of “provocative, sensationalist and sometimes outright racist language” in the reporting of asylum and immigration.

Independent, 15 June 2005

Download the ECRI report here.

See also Islam Online, 15 June 2005