Category Archives: Uncategorized

Negative views on Muslims in EU

Muslims-negative-views-in-EU30th May 2014

Many people in the seven European Union nations surveyed express negative views about minority groups in their country, according to Pew Research published on May 12. In particular, negative attitudes toward Roma (sometimes also known as Gypsies) are common, while many also give Muslims unfavourable ratings. Negative attitudes toward Jews are less pervasive. Negative sentiments about all three groups are consistently more common among people on the ideological right.

At least half of those surveyed in Italy, Greece and Poland say they have a negative opinion of the Muslims who live in their country. Public opinion is divided on this question in Spain, while in Germany and the UK a majority says they have positive views of Muslims. The most favourable ratings are registered in France (72% favourable), which among the seven nations surveyed has the highest percentage of Muslims in the national population.

As is the case with attitudes toward Roma, views about Muslims are tied to ideology. While 47% of Germans on the political right give Muslims an unfavourable rating, just 20% on the left do so. The gap between left and right is also more than 20 percentage points in France, Italy and Greece. And significant differences are found in Spain and the UK as well.

Attitudes are also linked to age, with negative sentiments more pervasive among older respondents. In Spain, about half of those age 50 and older (51%) give Muslims in their country an unfavourable rating; only a third of people under age 30 say the same. Significant differences between people 50 and older and 18- to 29-year-olds are also found in France (a gap of 12 percentage points), Germany (13 points), Italy (12 points) and the UK (9 points).

Many people in the seven European Union nations surveyed express negative views about minority groups in their country, according to Pew Research published on May 12. In particular, negative attitudes toward Roma (sometimes also known as Gypsies) are common, while many also give Muslims unfavourable ratings. Negative attitudes toward Jews are less pervasive. Negative sentiments about all three groups are consistently more common among people on the ideological right.

At least half of those surveyed in Italy, Greece and Poland say they have a negative opinion of the Muslims who live in their country. Public opinion is divided on this question in Spain, while in Germany and the UK a majority says they have positive views of Muslims. The most favourable ratings are registered in France (72% favourable), which among the seven nations surveyed has the highest percentage of Muslims in the national population.

As is the case with attitudes toward Roma, views about Muslims are tied to ideology. While 47% of Germans on the political right give Muslims an unfavourable rating, just 20% on the left do so. The gap between left and right is also more than 20 percentage points in France, Italy and Greece. And significant differences are found in Spain and the UK as well.

Attitudes are also linked to age, with negative sentiments more pervasive among older respondents. In Spain, about half of those age 50 and older (51%) give Muslims in their country an unfavourable rating; only a third of people under age 30 say the same. Significant differences between people 50 and older and 18- to 29-year-olds are also found in France (a gap of 12 percentage points), Germany (13 points), Italy (12 points) and the UK (9 points).

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/newspaper/islamophobia/negative-views-muslims-eu

 

FRA Director to head renowned international human rights institute in 2015

4698038-3x2-940x627

The Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Morten Kjaerum, will become the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 2015, it was announced today.

“Morten has been a driving force behind FRA for the last six years,” says FRA Management Board Chairperson, Maija Sakslin. “He leaves a lasting legacy and has firmly positioned FRA in the foreground of the European human rights landscape. On behalf of the FRA Management Board, I would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication in making the agency what it is today. We look forward to continuing to work with him until he leaves, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Over the last six years, Morten Kjaerum has guided the agency’s growth and development, and has ensured the delivery of robust advice and evidence on issues such as Roma, access to justice, LGBT and disabilities. This has significantly underpinned policies aiming at lifting the fundamental rights of many of the 500 million people living in the EU today. It is now a mature agency of 100 staff, and is well respected among EU Institutions, Member States, national human rights bodies and civil society alike.

He will continue to head and steer the agency until he leaves in the first half of 2015.

Morten Kjaerum was appointed Director of FRA in 2008 and was previously the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. He has served on several UN human rights committees and has written extensively on many human rights issues.

He will become the next director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 2015. It is an independent academic institution that promotes universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law by means of research, academic education, dissemination and institutional development.

http://fra.europa.eu/en/news/2014/fra-director-head-renowned-international-human-rights-institute-2015

European Parliament Elections 2014 results in big gains for extreme far right and anti-EU parties

 

Germany European Elections _74992160_euflagsafp _75099223_75099220 _75099227_75099224

 

When in the late nineties, I started working as President of ENAR- the European Network Against Racism, I was hopeful that the struggle for human rights, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination would go from strength to strength in the future. For a while it did go in the right direction but slowly and steadily, anti-migrants, anti-asylum and religious discrimination started taking hold. More and more political movements and parties started using propaganda tools against ethnic and religious minorities and the atmosphere became poisonous.

Progressive people and NGOs warned the European and national decision makers that something was going wrong. Unfortunately, the mainstream parties were afraid to be seen by public as listening to anti-racist worries.

The 2014 EU Parliament election of today has proven us right. In most EU countries from Finland to Greece and UK to Hungry, far right parties have won more than 25% votes.

For example, in UK, UKIP got 30%, in Denmark, DPP got 27%, and in France, Front National received 26% votes. In Germany, even a New Nazi candidate was elected.

The far right-wing populist and anti-Islam Danish People’s Party won the largest share of Danish votes, 26.7%, party’s best-ever European showing.

Of the Front National’s victory in France, Martin Schulz, the former Socialist president of the European Parliament said: “It’s a bad day for the European Union, when a party with a racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic program gets 25% of the vote.” He should have added anti-Islam and anti-Arab to this party’s titles.

This tilt to the far right will effect the national elections in many EU countries and will hugely influence the mainstream parties and would force these to make compromises on humanistic policies.

It is a sad day for democracy in Europe, because it is now firmly marching in the wrong direction.

2014-05-12 10.05.17

Dear friends

Last week, I interviewed two very interesting and knowledgeable persons for my TV program; Bashy’s Corner. They both talk about Denmark, its national crisis, discrimination and lack of accept for ethnic and religious minorities.

First guest is Mrutyuanjai Mishra – a Human Rights expert, politician, commentator at Politiken Newspaper.

We talked about the issue of freedom of speech, respect for human rights of minorities, his own journey –  from being an opponent of integration, a supporter of DF and SD and a rightwing intellectual to become a humanist and defender of minority rights. He explained the reasons for this change of heart and mind and why he thinks, that Denmark will be a good place to live and work if it respects and accepts minorities?

The second guest was Lene Andersen- a philosopher, author and economist. Her two recent books; Danmark 2030 and Globalt Gearskift are worth reading because she is on to something important about Danish society.

We discussed, how she sees Denmark in the future and if Danes are mentally ready for inter-cultural society and how we can change the paradigm from Them and Us to only US or we?

I am sure that commentators, especially those who are anti-minorities, would have plenty to ponder about after watching these two interviews.

Mrutyuanjai Mishra.

http://tv-gladsaxe.webstream.dk/embed_video/77,1280,640×360,001100

Lene Andersen

http://tv-gladsaxe.webstream.dk/embed_video/77,1292,640×360,001100

‘Your Vote Can Unite, You Choose’ Campaign against racism in the European Parliament

Press Release

mg_4214-1

In the next days citizens all over the EU will vote for a new European Parliament. The elections for the European Parliament from 22-25 May could prove a turning point for the future of the EU. Populist, and racist parties are spreading hate, blaming migrants and minorities for whatever goes wrong, dividing societies in many of the EU member states. This campaign asks all EU citizens to use their right to vote. And we ask all to vote against racism in the European Parliament; to choose for unity, instead of division.

Already these elections have been called historical. The European Parliament elections come in the middle of a crisis that struck Europe hard. Everywhere people have lost their jobs, lost their income, and lost hope. These are circumstances some political parties and movements are trying to take advantage of. Far-right, and racist parties are combining forces and trying to win more seats. They are manipulating peoples’ fears to build support for their dividing policies. Inciting hate against minorities is a classic strategy to gain visibility and win votes, especially in times of economic crisis. Migrants are the easiest targets.

The two largest European anti-racism organisations, ENAR and UNITED for intercultural actions, together with UK based Hope not Hate run a campaign to prevent far-right, racist candidates from being elected. The message of this EU-wide campaign “Your Vote Can Unite” is spread in 28 EU countries and several neighbouring countries. More intensive, local campaigns are organised in Hungary, France, Italy and Greece. The main goal is to motivate people to not stay silent, but use their voting rights.

We want to reach voters in a direct way. In Hungary, campaigners from the organisation Subjective Values go to small villages and ask Roma people to go vote. Campaigners from the young migrants organisation Generation 2.0 in Greece go to friends, family and others and explain why they need to vote. In France, Les Indivisibles produced a special newspaper and video, which are spread in a suburb of Paris. Campaigners from Centro d’Iniziativa per l’Europa del Piemonte in Italy reach out to young people and discuss the importance of the European Parliament elections.

The initiators of the campaign ask citizens to use their right to vote and to choose non-racist candidates. “Many people in the EU do not want parties that spread racism and poison society but they don’t use their voting rights. The public interest for the elections is low. At the same time racist parties do activate their voters, leading to a higher number of seats for far-right, racist parties. That is a bad development. So we ask people to go the ballot box and to vote, to show they care about what happens in their society,” argues Ralph du Long.

The organisers call upon everyone with voting rights to use their vote and not let racists come into the parliament. To choose for unity, instead of division.

For more information, please, contact UNITED for Intercultural Action, www.unitedagainstracism.org, info@yourvotecanunite.eu

Project Coordinator: Ralph du Long: email: ralph@dulong.eu, phone +31652314091

Facebook: YourVoteCanUnite

Twitter: #nohateEP2014

https://www.facebook.com/YourVoteCanUnite

 

 

 

Prominent Danish organisations warn : Do not vote for Morton Messerschmidt

MortonBy Anders Bæksgaard

May 18, 2014 – Belingske

Danish People’s Party’s success in the European elections is likely to cripple the Danish influence in the EU. That is the warning from a range of socio-professional organizations. It is a highly unusual direct warning against voting for the Danish Peoples Party.

While the Danish People’s Party plough through in the polls ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections , there is a growing concern among both employers and employees for a minimum Danish influence in the EU.

The party’s top candidate, Morten Messerschmidt , stand to receive more than one in four votes , and that has forced a number of socio-professional organizations to form a united front to warn the public against voting for Danish People’s Party.

A vote for Messerschmidt and Danish People’s Party will cost Danish influence and make it harder to protect and Danish interests in Brussels, is the warning from the organizations. They encourage Danes to vote for ” the constructive parties ‘.

http://www.b.dk/politiko/fremtraedende-organisationer-advarer-stem-ikke-paa-messerschmidt

What Europe thinks of Muslims, Jews and Roma?

26 36 110What Europe thinks of Muslims, Jews and Roma

By Adam Taylor
May 13 at 11:55 am

Ahead of the upcoming European Union parliamentary elections, the Pew Research Center released its latest survey data for France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
There are a number of interesting points in the report, but one striking section shows the varied views about minorities in the region. And while perspectives on Muslims and Jews are largely mixed, the mostly negative views about the Roma people are striking.

Here’s a rundown:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/05/13/what-europe-thinks-of-muslims-jews-and-roma/

West has to deal with its Demons – sooner than later

Delegates of the OSCE conference

Many international surveys have documented that racism, discrimination, anti-Semitism, Romaphobia, homophobia and Islamophobia is very prevalent in the western countries.

Many politicians, media and people in the west not only vehemently deny the existence of these sicknesses but also often blame the victims of such practices.

Fortunately, there are enough progressive and humanistic groups and NGOs who are tirelessly working to deal with these issues. I meet such dedicated individuals regularly, both in Denmark and in the European countries.

In Vienna, there were a number of NGO representatives from all over the OSCE countries who gathered to discuss ways to stop torture, date misuse and discrimination and formulate concrete recommendations to OSCE countries, institutions and NGOs working with racism.

I just hope that sooner or later, the west would realise that it has to deal with the evil mindset, which nourishes prejudices and leads to ill treatment of ethnic and religious minorities.

Here are some photos from the event, which took place from 7-10 April 2014.

Bashy and Wiktor from LGBT organisation in Poland

Yuri making a point

French MP Rudy Salles fails to export anti-religious policies to the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe

10 Apr. 2014 – STRASBOURG.

The recommendations of French MP Rudy Salles, which would have had the effect of exporting anti-religious French policies to the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe has not been adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

All Rudy Salles recommendations – identified by former International Helsinki Federation Director Dr. Aaron Rhodes as “a recipe for discrimination and intolerance” and something that would “provide cover for arbitrary interference in religious life” – were cancelled. Instead, a completely different proposal was proposed and adopted:

“The Assembly therefore calls on the member states to sign and/or ratify the relevant Council of Europe conventions on child protection and welfare if they have not already done so”.

Rudy Salles ´ proposals to establish information centre’s, establish a European observatory, carry out specialist training and a range of other actions on groups he derogatorily called ´sects´ – were all rejected by the Parliamentary Assembly.

Over 80 dedicated human rights organization and experts in criminal law, religious freedom and human rights from throughout the world, as well as a petition signed by more than 10,000 signatories, addressed the President Ms Anne Brasseur and key political figures of the Parliamentary Assembly asking for the proposed antireligious recommendations to be rejected.

While religious minorities still need to be alert to attempts of repressive individuals who try to use government positions to impose restrictive policies, the final resolution protects minors of religious minorities in light of article 9 of the Convention. At the same time it requests the Member States to implement policies of non-discrimination between traditional, non-traditions, new religious movements and “sects”, as can be seen in point 9 of the final resolution:

“ The Assembly calls on member States to ensure that no discrimination is allowed on the basis of which movement is considered as a sect or not, that no distinction is made between traditional religions and non-traditional religious movements, new religious movements or “sects” when it comes to the application of civil and criminal law, and that each measure which is taken towards non-traditional religious movements, new religious movements or “sects” is aligned with human rights standards as laid down by the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant instruments protecting the dignity inherent to all human beings and their equal and inalienable rights.”

rhodes_aaron

Human Rights March 2013

Youth Walking for Human Rights in Copenhagen-Denmark

December 2013

For the fifth year in a row, a Walk for Human Rights took place in Copenhagen. This year, it was in celebration of the 65th anniversary for the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. It was Tuesday 10th of December that the Walk started at Vesterbro Torv and ended in StreetMekka, a youth community centre near Enghave Station. Around a hundred school students and other human rights activists participated. Inside StreetMekka, there was speeches from Copenhagen City Council member, Klaus Mygind, Youth for Human Rights and entertainment from both Lior Kojo, who is one of the faces of the Copenhagen City anti-discrimination campaign and other young artists.

IMG_9611

In his speech Klaus Mygind said, “I am very happy that Youth for Human Rights celebrate this day every year. Especially as we look at a Denmark, which just had elections, but not everyone participated, and because human rights are important in relation to the right to work, education and to live in safety and freedom. I appreciate this initiative.”

Klaus Mygind

Youth for Human Rights organized the event in partnership with European Network Against Racism (ENAR) and Tænk med Hjertet (Your Global Heart). Nina Christensen, daily leader of Youth for Human Rights explained, ”We are walking to draw attention to the Universal Declaration for Human rights, which was signed today 65 years ago. However in spite of many countries having signed the declaration, there are still human rights violations in many places around the world and many people don’t even know what their rights are. So the work to make human rights known through education is very important and that is what we are working on.”

That human rights problems exist right here in Copenhagen and also in the area, where the walk took place is very clear from a recent example, where a Nigerian woman, who had been subjected to human trafficking, witnessed against and helped get one of the masterminds behind a ring of prostitution convicted. Despite her actions, she is now to be sent back to Nigeria even though the prostitution ring there has made threats to her life.

When it comes to knowledge regarding the rights, a study from the Danish Institute of Human Rights confirmed that human rights education should be strengthened and their 2013 status report recommends that human rights be added to the public school mission statement.

During the event in StreetMekka, youth were inspired by performances of dance and rap about anti-discrimination. At one point all participants were invited to put their hand print and signature on an enormous banner, in support of making human rights law.

IMG_9730

Bashy Quraishy, Chairman of ENAR in Denmark and Secretary General of EMISCO-European Muslim Initiative For Social Cohesion remarked, ”An activity that teaches, defends and gets young people to spread the message of Human Rights should be supported, because only by everybody knowing, respecting and practicing these rights will these, eventually be respected everywhere.”

Youth for Human Rights in Denmark is a branch of an International movement, which has branches all over the world -from South Africa to Denmark and Indonesia to USA. It is primarily engaged in teaching and organizing events that teach young people about human rights. The 14-year-old Layal Sarhan, who is a member of the Youth for Human Rights Youth Club, said in her speech, ”Remember that everything starts with yourself. Because if you are unable to realize how much your rights mean, you cannot talk to others about them. With determination and a goal you can do anything.”

Nina Christensen also stated: “We have an educational kit that make human rights real and understandable to young people through short films, tasks and role models – they among other things learn about advocates for human rights like recently deceased Nelson Mandela and his fight against oppression.” Another inspiration for her is L. Ron Hubbard, who once said, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.”

IMG_9813

Professor Claus Haagen Jensen, former chairman of the board at the Danish Institute for Human Rights has seen the materials and says, “Human rights as a subject is not easy to understand, so I find this material good and important, because it strives at reaching young people where they and in their own language. It stimulates interest among young people about an important topic, so they feel that human rights is not just something for the older generations.”