The following statement was drawn up by the Enough Coalition Committee at a conference held on 21 May 2011 at the London Muslim Centre, attended by over 400 participants, and titled Confronting Anti-Muslim Hatred in Britain and Across Europe.
Official prejudice against Muslims is turning into state persecution in country after country across Europe.
In France we see the outrage of Muslim women arrested in the street for what they wear.
In Switzerland, minarets have been prohibited; elsewhere Halal food is banned from schools and immigration from ‘Muslim countries’ is openly discouraged.
In Germany there has been no official condemnation of an Islamophobic murder.
In Britain, Muslims face almost daily defamation in the media as well as threats and attacks on mosques. The police and authorities too often collude in this victimization.
Politicians across the spectrum are joining in the chorus of demonization. Unsurprisingly, statistics show an increase in physical attacks on Muslims almost everywhere.
Islamophobia is often dressed up as cultural critique, but it is a form of racism. It is used by the establishment to blame Muslims for the effects of government policies.
The foreign policy of the Western powers is creating anger across the Muslim world and beyond. It is making the world a more volatile and dangerous place. The vast majority of Muslims in Europe are integrated but, discrimination in housing, jobs and education creates barriers to this process.
None of this is the fault of the Muslim communities. On the contrary, Muslim are both discriminated against and scapegoated.
The Enough Coalition brings together organisations and individuals to actively challenge Islamophobia, and this conference is a step towards European co-ordination.
We believe that it is time for Muslims and non-Muslims alike across Europe to take a clear stand against this spreading menace.
We need to share information, research and analysis to expose the development of Islamophobia as a virulent form of modern racism; we must work to insure the proper recording and reporting of Islamophobic incidents and we must co-ordinate campaigns, actions and mobilisations to directly challenge anti Muslim racism.
We say enough. We will not be silenced. And we ask you to join us.
Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia 21 May 2011