Muslims are facing increased discrimination across Europe and urgent action needs to be taken at local, national and EU levels to tackle the problem, according to a report published on Tuesday.
The Open Society Institute, a private foundation set up by billionaire financier George Soros, said many Muslims suffered unfair treatment along with social and economic disadvantages, despite being integral to the cities in which they lived.
“Europe needs to live up to its promise of an inclusive, open society,” said Nazia Hussain, director of OSI’s At Home in Europe project. “Switzerland’s recent ban on minarets is a clear sign that anti-Muslim sentiment is a real problem in Europe.”
The OSI report, based on more than 2,000 interviews in 11 cities in seven countries — the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Britain, France and Sweden — said Muslims faced higher unemployment, had lower-paid jobs and suffered higher poverty rates. Some Muslim pupils faced racism and prejudice, and were confronted by lower expectations from teachers.