Two in five European Muslims have felt discriminated against

Discrimination against Europe’s Muslims is increasing, with two in five (40%) saying they have faced unfair treatment when job- or house-hunting or accessing public services such as education or healthcare, according to the first report of its kind in a decade.

Nearly 30% of respondents in a survey said they had been insulted or called names and 2% had been physically assaulted in the previous 12 months.

The survey was carried out in late 2015 and early 2016 by the EU’s fundamental rights agency and involved 10,500 Muslims in 15 countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Most of those who had been treated unfairly in the five years before the survey said they felt it was because of their name, skin colour or appearance. About 17% said they felt discriminated against directly because of their religious belief – a seven-point increase on the previous survey, in 2008. [The Guardian] Read more

EU survey finds Muslims willing to embrace non-Muslims

A survey of Muslims in 15 European Union countries finds most are willing to embrace non-Muslims, but they often feel rebuffed by the majority populations of the places they live.

The findings released Thursday by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reflect the views of 10,527 Muslim immigrants and children of immigrants who were interviewed between October 2015 and July 2016.

Nine out of 10 of those surveyed reported having non-Muslim friends and 92 percent said they tended to feel comfortable with neighbors of a different religious background.

But more than half — 53 percent — said they had felt discriminated against when they looked for housing because of their names. On the employment front, 35 percent of the women who had looked for work felt discriminated against because of their clothing, compared to 4 percent for men.

The people surveyed were over age 16 and had been living for at least a year in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

Other findings from the survey included:

— Nearly half of the respondents did not find interfaith marriage objectionable, with 48 percent reporting they would feel “totally comfortable” with a family member marrying a non-Muslim. [Associated Press] Read more

Dutch Muslims don’t feel as ‘at home’ as other EU Muslims

Dutch Muslims are among the European Muslims with the lowest level of attachment to the country they are living in, a major survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows.

The vast majority of Muslims in the EU are integrated in the countries they live in and have a high level of trust in democratic institutions despite experiencing widespread discrimination and harassment, the FRA writes.

But compared to the FRA’s first survey among EU Muslims from 2008 the percentage of Muslims who said they experienced discrimination on religious grounds in the last five years has gone up from 10% to 17%. In the Netherlands 30% of Muslims say they experienced discrimination because of their religion.

‘The figures are alarming although not every Muslim who experiences discrimination will be more open to extremism. But there is a danger they no longer feel part of society,’ FRA spokesman Friso Roscam Abbing told the Volkskrant. According to Roscam Abbing, the fact that the survey took place between October 2015 and July 2016, at a time when IS staged a number of attacks and populist parties gained in popularity, may have intensified the experience of being discriminated against. [DutchNews] Read more