News

    Five European Countries Slammed for Discrimination Against Muslims

    Lies Hebbadj (C) arrives for a hearing at the police Tribunal in Nantes, November 21, 2011, accompanied by his wife and a companion, both of whom were stopped by police last October for wearing the niqab in public.
    Lies Hebbadj (C) arrives for a hearing at the police Tribunal in Nantes, November 21, 2011, accompanied by his wife and a companion, both of whom were stopped by police last October for wearing the niqab in public.
    Lisa Bryant

    Muslims in Europe are facing growing discrimination for their religious beliefs, not only by ordinary Europeans but also by governments and politicians. That is the assessment of rights group Amnesty International in a new report released Tuesday.

    In some parts of Europe, Muslim women and girls who wear headscarves are having a hard time finding jobs or going to school. Men can be fired from work because they wear beards. And Muslim communities sometimes have little say in key issues that affect their faith - like building a prayer hall. These are among a series of findings in Amnesty International's first comprehensive report on religious discrimination against Muslims in Europe.

    Marco Perolini, Amnesty's expert on discrimination in Europe, said, "In recent years, we observed a rising of stereotypes and prejudices on Islam and Muslims in Europe, and in particular put forward only only by part of civil society but also by governments and politicians."

    The Amnesty report focuses on Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland - along with France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community. Anti-Muslim sentiment has helped fuel far right parties and leaders in recent years. A case in point: Marine Le Pen of France's National Front, who placed third in presidential elections on Sunday.

    The report looks at the impact of particular laws, like French legislation barring women from wearing the full-face veil, or niqab, in public or girls from wearing headscarves in public schools. Amnesty argues these bans and others violate basic European rights.  

    "We should not forget that some rights - like the right not to be discriminated against, the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of religion, are fundamental rights and governments have the duty to respect and fulfill them," said Perolini.

    Amnesty points to other examples where religious rights are being compromised. Switzerland bans mosques from having minarets. And in Catalonia, Spain, Muslims are forced to pray in streets because of a lack of prayer hall space and local resistance to building new houses of worship.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora