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ISTANBUL

An Ankara-based think tank said a wave of Islamophobia swept across Europe in 2017.

The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in its annual report released on Monday evaluated anti-Muslim crimes in Europe based on country reports.

The European Islamophobia Report (EIR) revealed 908 crimes targeted Muslims in Germany,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]664 in Poland,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]364 in Netherlands,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]256 in Austria,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]121 in France,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]56 in Denmark, and 36 in Belgium.

They ranged from verbal and physical attacks to murder attempts.

The report said most European governments, however, do not implement any specific policies to counter Islamophobia, and simply include them in a subcategory of “hate crimes” in the official police statistics of “politically motivated criminal acts”.

“If these numbers are striking enough to disconcert us, they are nothing comparing to the real state of matter,” the report said, adding that the available data and statistics on Islamophobia in Europe “are only the tip of the iceberg”.

The report indicated that European Muslims would continue to face discriminative policies without the official and irrefutable recognition of Islamophobia as a specific kind of racism.

Urging the EU institutions to recognize and address Islamophobia politically as “a form of racism” that can lead to human rights violations, the report added:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“The legal and political recognition of Islamophobia is of utmost importance. Therefore, a European-level conference on Islamophobia should be organized with the support of at least one EU member state or the European Parliament.”

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