[fyeg_gen-l] Statement "Islam and Europe"

Ska Keller tique007 at web.de
Wed Aug 24 17:56:05 CEST 2005

Dear friends,

please find below the statement that the participants of the recent Study Session "Islam and Europe" have produced. The Study Session was held by FYEG in cooperation with the Council of Europe from 14th to 21st of August in Strasbourg, France. Some pictures are already online in our gallery, the report will hopefully follow next week.
All best wishes!
Spokesperson of FYEG



Islam in the past and present of Europe

Study session FYEG

August 2005



1. We, young people from 23 European and Mediteranean countries, gathered in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, France, to learn about the relationship between Islam and European societies both in the history and present and to discuss the different aspects of the place Muslim communities have in present day Europe.


2. Deeply concerned by the fact that Europe is witnessing a rise in Islamophobia and the negative impact this has on our diverse societies,


3. Acknowledging the fact that a lack of knowledge and understanding of each other's cultures and religions is one of the main causes for Xenophobia and Islamophobia,


4. Acknowledging that in some places there is a tension between Muslims and non Muslims. In order to resolve this, islamophobia must be tackled among non muslims; and Muslim leaders should challenge the views of the very small minoritiy of Islamic extremists,


5. Convinced that Islam is a religion based on the principles of peace and tolerance,


6. Emphasising the key role which young people play in the stuggle to eradicate Islamophobia and related intolerance,


7. Realising the significance of the Islamic civilisation in the past of Europe, the culture and scientific development it has brought and the continous contributions of Muslims nowadays,


8. Denouncing the significant contribution of both Western and Eastern media in creating a hostile atmosphere of fear and hatred especially in connection to the tragic events which have taken place since 11th of September 2001,



The participants of this Study Session


I.                    Encourage FYEG to establish partnerships and dialogue with organisations in countries inside and outside of Europe,

II.                 Strongly urge the media to break the vicious circle of bad coverage that is increasing islamophobia and also to cover issues that show Islam in a positive light,

III.               Call for more sustainable dialogue between people of different religious beliefs to overcome prejudices against Muslims,

IV.              Urge for more detailed, widespread and balanced educational programs to be implemented to teach children and youth about different cultures and religions and raise their awareness about racism and xenophobia. This is in order to increase their understanding of other people with different backgrounds and make them not inclined towards racism and xenophobia themselves.

V.                 Subscribe entirely to the values and visions of a democratic Europe and respect of human rights. We young people have to act to make Europe value cultural diversity and eradicate all forms of exclusion.




Islamophobia (taken from www.wikipedia.org)

... is the fear and/or hatred of Islam, Muslims or Islamic culture. I. can be characterised by the belief that all or most Muslims are religious fanatics, have violent tendencies towards Non-Muslims, and reject as directly opposed to Islam such concepts as equality, tolerance and democracy.

It is viewed as a new form of racism whereby Muslims, an ethno-religious group, not a race, are nevertheless constructed as a reace.

A set of negative assumptions are made of the entire group of the detriment of members of that group.

During the 1990's many sociologists and cultural analysts observed a shift in forms of prejudice from ones based on skin colour to ones based on notions of cultural superiority and otherness.






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