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Wed 25 Apr 2012 02:06 PM

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Rights group slams Europe's 'discrimination' of Muslims

Muslims in Europe are excluded from employment, education, says Amnesty International

Rights group slams Europe's 'discrimination' of Muslims
Muslim woman wears the burqa in France.

Amnesty International says European countries discriminate against Muslims who openly demonstrate their faith, especially in education and employment.

In a new report, the rights group urged European governments to put in more effort to challenge widespread negative prejudices against Muslims.

In particular, it says that Muslims are excluded from some forms of employment and attending school while wearing religious dress.

“Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf," said the group’s discrimination specialist, Marco Perolini. "Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam."

“Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes,” he added.

The report focused on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, where Amnesty International has already raised issues on public bans of full-face veils worn by some Muslim women, as well as restrictions on places of worship

Amnesty International cited the prohibition of minarets on mosques in Switzerland in 2009 as such an example.

“Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief - and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally," Perolini argued.

Amnesty International also said that Belgium, France and the Netherlands have failed to implement legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment.

Employers had been allowed to ban religious or cultural symbols on the basis they would annoy clients, colleagues and or impact a company's corporate image, the report highlighted, despite this conflicting with EU law.

 “EU legislation prohibiting discrimination on the ground of religion or belief in the area of employment seems to be toothless across Europe, as we observe a higher rate of unemployment among Muslims, and especially Muslim women of foreign origin,” Perolini said.

Tom Harpis 7 years ago

simple.. Expats live in the middle east following the religious beliefs of the country that are laid out in the laws, such as dress code & eating/drinking during ramadan.

If more European countires are based on laws for other religions, let them be, just dont go there, same as people who cant handle the the restrictions of this region.

Bless every country on earth! All have their quirks besed on the beliefs of the citizens of their respective countries

Osman Islamia 7 years ago

Muslims are discriminated even in their own countries.

Just one example how many Muslim countries have banned the headscarf?