KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA TO MEMBER STATES AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS

Workshop on synergies and good practices on tackling anti-Muslim racism and discrimination

25th June 2019-Madrid 

As civil society organisations, we have highlighted the following recommendations that can be reached through specific actions, in close consultation, cooperation and full transparency with civil society experts.

 

  1. Tackle the structural manifestations of Islamophobia by adopting measures in key policy areas
  • Recognition of islamophobia (anti-Muslim racism/anti-Muslim hatred)  as a specific form of racism Islamophobia that refers to acts of violence and discrimination, as well as racist speech, fuelled by historical abuses and negative stereotyping and leading to exclusion and dehumanisation of Muslims, and all those perceived as such. Many manifestations of Islamophobia are structural in their nature, in the sense that discriminatory patterns against Muslims are embedded in policies, laws and practices of institutional or private bodies.
  • Support the adoption or improvement of national policies against racism, such as National Action Plans against Racism, with specific measures or strategies to counter Islamophobia, including measures to tackle intersectional discrimination targeting Muslim women (on the model of the Barcelona action plan against Islamophobia).
  • Adopt guidelines to implement an intersectional approach to religious dress restrictions by recognising these restrictions mostly target Muslim women and are against full gender equality. These guidelines could promote non-discriminatory approaches to enable full inclusion of all Muslim women in all areas of life. Assessment of existing legislation should be done taking into account this approach.
  • ·Develop and promote harmonisation of data collection in areas of hate crime and equality, recognising anti-Muslim bias as a category. These data should be disaggregated by multiple grounds of discrimination, including gender, race, ethnicity and religion.
  • Assess and acknowledge the discriminatory impact of counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism measures and ensure that counter-terrorism measures comply with fundamental rights safeguards, especially when implementing the recently adopted EU counter-terrorism Directive.
  •  Ensure the safety of Muslim worship places, in dialogue with the communities involved.
  • Following the Council of Europe’s example, establish the day against Islamophobia on the 21th September as a date for raising awareness across Europe on the challenges and pr otection of Muslims

 

  1. Secure safe and decent working conditions for civil society working against Islamophobia
  • Refrain from participating in/supporting often-unfounded accusations against civil society organisations working against Islamophobia. These are clear manifestations of the generalised suspicion towards Muslims in Europe. Civil society organisations in Europe are key democratic stakeholders which ensure that all communities are heard and empowered and hold governments accountable. However, civil society organisations working against Islamophobia are often severely delegitimised and may have their reputation, resources and integrity threatened.
  • Develop and strengthen funding programmes enabling civil society working against Islamophobia to develop long-term projects for capacity building, advocacy for equality, strategic litigation, educational programmes, etc. This should be included in the current EU budget negotiations. Facilitating access to these funds is also crucial to allow civil society to benefit from them thus improving eligibility criteria to suit the realities of small NGOs is crucial to allow Csos to benefit from them.
  1. Consolidate the mandate of the European institutions to keep Islamophobia high on the agenda
  • Develop a roadmap on combating Islamophobia with concrete objectives and targets;
  • Include combating anti-Muslim hatred as a priority in forthcoming communications related to tackling racism and the future of the EU high-level group on combating racism and related intolerance;
  •  Secure the position of the EU coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred as long as it does not replace strong political will, actions and effective policies. Clarity about the role should be ensured by a clear mandate and transparent communication and consultation process.

Signatories:

AEQUITAS (Cyprus)

AFD International (Belgium)

Alliance Citoyenne (France)

Asociacion Musulmana por los Derechos Humanos (Spain)

CLAIM – Allianz gegen Islam – und Muslimfeindlichkeit (Germany)

Collectief tegen Islamofobie en Discriminatie (Netherlands)

Collective Against Islamophobia in Belgium (Belgium)

Collective Against Islamophobia in France (France)

COREIS Islamic Religious Community (Italy)

Dokustelle – Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle Islamfeindlichkeit & antimuslimischer Rassismus (Austria)

ECPI-Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives (Romania)

Euro-Mediterraan Centrum Migratie & Ontwikkeling- EMCEMO (Netherlands)

European Forum of Muslim Women (Europe)

European Network Against Racism (Europe)

European Network on Religion and Belief (Europe)

Faiths Without Borders (Finland)

Fondazione L’Albero della Vita (Italy)

Forum of European Muslim Youth And Student Organisations (Europe)

Lallab France (France)

Muslim Association of Greece (Greece)

Organizacion Nacional para el Dialogo y la Participacion (Spain)

Ramiaschannel

Stichting Platform Islamitische Organisaties Rijnmond- SPIOR (Netherlands)

United Religion Initiative (Netherlands)

COUNTERING ISLAMOPHOBIA: DRAWING ON BEST PRACTICES FROM ACROSS EUROPE

COUNTERING ISLAMOPHOBIA: DRAWING ON BEST PRACTICES FROM ACROSS EUROPE*

By Dr Amina Easat-Daas

Globally, there is an alarming proliferation and intensification of Islamophobia and it increasingly permeates a range of spheres. Islamophobia affects (but is not restricted to) policy and legal measures, media and also verbal and physical violence against Muslims, perceived Muslims, and Islamic spaces.

Islamophobic narratives frame Muslims and Islam as the “other”, they are seen to be carriers of violent threat, demographic threat, a cultural and moral threat, an economic threat, a threat to sexual freedoms and gender equality, and a threat to national peace and security.

 

Download full publication: www.thecordobafoundation.com/publication.php?id=2&art=97

Membership policy

Structure and Membership Policy

If you wish to become a member, please fill the membership Form, and send a scanned copy to kahina@enorb.eu

ENORB was founded as an EU Equality Network covering the fundamental human rights of freedom and non-discrimination in the field of Religion and Belief, and was registered with the Moniteur Belge as a not-for-profit association (Association Sans But Lucratif – ASBL) in May 2012. The membership structure, based on the ENORB statutes (statuts), is in two categories: Full Members (membres effectifs) and Associate Members (adhérents). The rights, benefits and responsibilities of each category are:

Full Member Organisations:

  • Yearly membership fee (max 50 euros)
  • Voting rights at AGM, for member organisations that have paid membership fees
  • Have the right to submit candidates to the ENORB board
  • Possibility to apply to participate as partners in ENORB projects and for subgrants for local seminars,
  • Sharing information in the newsletters
  • Invitations to seminars & events, with travel and accommodation covered when applicable
  • Join advocacy initiatives and coalitions on key issues at EU
  • Support for local and national initiatives to build mutual understanding and combat discrimination
  • Funding for local projects when available
  • Capacity-building for members to increase national and community impact

Adherent or Associate Members:

  • Free of charge. Available to all who attend an ENORB event, or by email application
  • Receive newsletters, invitations to seminars, events etc.
  • May attend AGM, but without voting rights

The membership policy of ENORB has always been to be as open as possible, to all organisations with a concern for freedom and non-discrimination in the field of religion and belief, including organisations which may not necessarily be legally registered or formally structured.  Membership is subject to regular review by the board to ensure respect of anti-discrimination principles and the EU Charter of Fundamental rights.

At seminars members may join by filling in a signed form, which includes a commitment to the full implementation of equal rights for all categories protected under the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. The membership list, including all new members, is subject to regular review at ENORB board meetings. In line with the practice of other EU Equality Networks, membership lists are freely available if requested by a bona fide enquirer, but are not published on the website.  This restriction is necessary in order to protect the confidentiality of member organisations in certain European countries where there has been hostility or persecution of religious or other minority groups.

Certain membership benefits, eg offering financial support such as free or subsidised travel expenses to European seminars, or funding for local seminars, are available only when there is a budget sufficient to cover costs.

ENORB also maintains an open mailing list for all interested individuals who wish to receive newsletters and information on its events and projects. Subscription to this mailing list is free of charge, available on demand and after attending ENORB events and is not subject to any others conditions of membership.

 

Governance

ENORB’s legal status and constitution are defined in its Statuts deposited with the Moniteur Belge in 2011 on its registration as a not-for-profit association (Association Sans But Lucratif) in May 2012.  ENORB’s major structural and policy decisions are made by a board consisting of up to 12 full members (membres effectifs), each representing a member organisation.  Board members are elected annually at the General Assembly (AGM), which is normally held in June.  The board elects its officers – President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer – at its first meeting after the AGM. Extraordinary GA meetings may be held at other times at the request of two or more members. The board meets 3-4 times per year.  The quorum for board meetings is a minimum of 3 full members. In addition, representatives of other member organisations may be invited to attend and contribute to specific items of the agenda at board meetings with observer status (ie without voting rights).

 

Professional Team

ENORB’s management and direction of its operational activities are in the hands of its professional team, currently a Director, and an Administration Manager, based in ENORB’s head office in Brussels at 323, Rue du Progrės, 1030, Brussels, with support from a deputy director, currently based in Bucharest.

Conflict resolution and Religion/Beliefs ENORB Seminar

Peace Building in an Age of Rage

Tuesday 12TH MARCH 2019, Holy Trinity Brussels Anglican Church (Rue Capitaine Crespel 29, 1050 BRUSSELS 
register here

The European Network on Religion and Belief will be convening a workshop on religion / belief and conflict resolution. Several peace processes have recently demonstrated the need to inclusively engage religious leaders and faith-based actors with a focus on inclusion of all — including minorities and local communities — in official negotiations to reach political settlement to conflicts.

The presence of religion in societies is a permanent reality that has far-reaching impact and influence. Whilst there exists some concerns about religion as a cause of conflicts, the reality is often much more complex with other underlining factors and the conflation of issues. Religions can play a complementary social and political role. Religious actors also shoulder responsibilities to help avert conflicts whether inter-religious, armed conflicts, hostilities and in post-war realities such as rebuilding society and fostering harmony and reconciliation between communities.

This is particularly the case for conflicts in which religious dynamics have co-shaped and driven the course of conflict and contributed towards its imperviousness to resolution. In such conflicts, religious actors and communities often feel that they have interests at stake in political negotiations related to the peace processes, and, if excluded, may subsequently disrupt and spoil official negotiations.

It is against this backdrop that ENORB is convening this timely workshop, engaging academics and practitioners alike to share and exchange diverse experiences in an inclusive discussion. [1] The workshop aims to inform future peace negotiations to encourage more thoughtful, effective engagement of religious leaders and faith based-actors.

The workshop will include facilitated conversations on the roles of religious actors in formal and informal peace processes, with an emphasis on the vital input of local communities and religious/ethnic minorities.

Programme

10:00                         Arrival, registration, coffee

10:30                          Introduction on Religion and Conflict Resolution — Salpy Eskidjan, WCC Religious Track.

11:00- 12.30              Panel 1: Peace-building and religion / belief: experiences and lessons learned

  • Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Lead, Quaker Council for European Affairs — Quakers manual on peace-building and the gender approach
  • Michael Hansmann, Director-Brot für die Welt — Role of faith-based actors on humanitarian aids and advocacy in EU
  • Alice Kooij Martinez, Senior Advocacy Officer-Pax Christi International — Conflict resolution and peace-building – Pax Christi approach

12.30-13.30               Lunch break

13.30-14.30              Workshops/ Case Studies:

  • Northern Ireland Facilitator: Barbara Walshe, Chair-Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Balkans Facilitator: Dr Abdullah Faliq, Managing Director, The Cordoba Foundation; ENORB Board Member
  • Cyprus Facilitator: Salpy Eskidjan, WCC Religious Track

14.30-16:00              Panel: Peace in the Age of Rage

  • Speakers tbc

16:00-17:00              Conclusion / Networking & Coffee

Call for application : Consultant for a Organisational Development Plan

ENORB is recruiting a consultant for a short-term mission.

The consultant will have to develop an organisational development plan in order to help the organisation in it professionalisation journey. The objective will be to guide ENORB to:

  • deliver better services to its network and partner
  • build the core work of the professional team
  • implement processes and procedures
  • build its capacity

This Needs Assessment audit of ENORB’s organisational development, with the involvement of officers, board and selected members, facilitated by an expert specialising in equalities and anti-discrimination work, would include meetings with key players and members, leading to a joint meeting to feed back initial findings and develop an organisational development plan before the fall.

Candidate profile :

  • Previous experience on strategical plan
  • Good communication and writing skills
  • Fluency in English
  • Ability to write clear and concise report
  • Familiar with EU Anti-discrimination narrative
  • Preferably based in Brussels or comfortable and efficient working from a distance

What we offer:

The mission will be paid 3000€ VTA included. We also provide office space near Brussels North station. ENORB is strongly committed to offer equal opportunity for all and seek to foster culture of diversity in term of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and ability in the workplace.

 

To apply, please sent a resume and a cover letter (one document) to kahina@enorb.eu by 21 February 2019.

Only selected candidates will be contacted.