In view of the increasing tension affecting the Islamic community in Western Europe, the Geneva Centre commissioned Dr. Zidane Meriboute, author of “La fracture Islamique: demain le Soufisme?” (“Islam’s Fateful Path”), to write a study entitled “Muslims in Europe: The road to social harmony.”
This publication examines the philosophical roots of xenophobia and its growth in historical perspective. A relative lack of concern over the presence of minorities has mutated in the case of Muslims into active racism of a new kind: “religious racism”.
The book highlights the importance of promoting tolerance and acceptance in reaching social harmony, and deplores the current growing trend in Islamophobia, discrimination and segregation, and xenophobic populism affecting Muslim communities in Europe
In the modern context, this phenomenon has roots in the racist philosophy of early writers but has been conditioned by the growth of migration and the emergence of terrorism as an issue of international concern.
The five recommendations of Dr. Meriboute’s study may be summarised as follows.
- To reach a definition of “denominational racism”;
- To create within each National Human Rights Commission a sub-Commission representing civil society and those state services which specialise in addressing racism and discrimination;
- To further enhance awareness of the European public;
- To undertake radical reform on the teaching of Islam and other religions in Europe;
- To prioritise individual liberties.