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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has 57 member states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various peoples of the world.u

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) And The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC)

Present «Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion»

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 2010


Organization of Islamic Cooperation - OIC

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOREWORD by the OIC Secretary General

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FOREWORD by High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

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OVERVIEW

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I. OPENING REMARKS 1. Moderator 2. The UN AoC High Representative 3. The OIC Secretary General 4. The UNESCO Director General 5. The OSCE Secretary General

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II. INTERVENTIONS BY OTHER PANELISTS 1. Ms. Beate Winkler, former Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) 2. Prof. Mike Hardy, Programme Leader for Intercultural Dialogue of the British Council 3. Mr. André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh EuroMediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures 4. Ambassador José Mª Ferré, Spanish Ambassador at Large for Relations with Muslim Communities Abroad 5. Prof. Stefano Allievi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Padua 6. Ambassador Ömür Orhun, Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General and Focal Point of the OIC to the AoC 7. Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, the Swiss Focal Point to the AoC 8. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

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9. Ms. Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies 10. Mr.Rashad Hussain, US Special Envoy to the OIC 11. Mr. Bogaç Güldere, Turkish Focal Point to the AoC 12. Mr. Usen Suleimenov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE 13. Mr. Nazim Ahmad, Representative in Portugal and in Mozambique of the Aga Khan Development Network

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III. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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ANNEXES A: ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ROUNDTABLE B: AoC Note: Reflections and Proposals for Action by the AoC High Representative C: COMPILATION OF A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SUBJECT 1. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 2. Open Society Institution (OSI) 3. ERICarts Institute 4. Council of Europe 5. Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) 6. US-Muslim Engagement Project D: CONCEPT PAPER ON “ADDRESSING ISLAMOPHOBIA” BY AMBASSADOR ÖMÜR ORHUN

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Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Foreword by Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC In the present globalized world of inter-cultural and inter-civilizational coexistence, there is no other option to the development of a culture of harmony, and tolerance of each other’s religious beliefs and cultural values. We all agree that unless serious and concrete efforts are made in this respect, we may indeed be doomed towards a situation of conflict along religious or cultural lines that would endanger the lives and security of the present and future generations. One of the biggest threats to our efforts to combat intolerance and hatred on the basis of religious beliefs and cultural values and practices is manifested in the growing scourge of defamation and vilification of Islam and Muslims. It is truly unfortunate and regrettable that in recent years, particularly after the 911/ terrorist attacks of 2001 carried out by a handful of misguided extremists, Muslims have collectively came to be viewed in many Western societies and countries with suspicion and are being stereotyped and subjected to discrimination. This has happened despite the fact that the entire Muslim world strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and rejected those responsible, on the ground that their actions were repugnant and contrary to the Islamic faith. The most recent development in the US centering the commemoration of the 9th anniversary of 911/ is an example of the intolerance against Muslims taking root in the mindset of certain quarters in which even an obscure individual of little or no consequence can prove to be a factor in bringing the world to the throes

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of creating an ugly situation and threat to peace. The rising phenomenon of intolerance for diversity motivated the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Spain, along with the UN Secretary General, to establish the UN Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) in 2005. Their vision of forming the Alliance was to engender an antidote to the theory of Clash of Civilizations. The OIC was spontaneous in giving its full support to the AoC from its inception. It gives me great satisfaction to state that the cooperation between the OIC and the AoC has steadily grown over the past five years and we are determined to ensure that this cooperation will grow in strength in the days ahead. The UN AoC High Representative, President Jorge Sampaio and I have met on several occasions, including his visit to the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah in February 2010 to discuss how to make dialogue among civilizations result oriented and also addressing inter religious and intercultural intolerance, including Islamophobia. I am pleased to state that there was no ambiguity in our common resolve to do our best towards addressing this issue. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is based on its guiding principles of moderation and modernization, has undertaken a proactive role in underscoring the dangerous implications of the rise of Islamophobia and to raise an international awareness at all levels of the society of the gravity and dangers of this issue. As Secretary General of the OIC, I have never missed an opportunity to highlight and underscore the urgent need for a global strategy to gather together to combat and defeat the forces of intolerance that preach and perpetrate Islamophobia through distortions and by spreading untruths of a religion that is founded on the basic principles of peace, truth, compassion and respect for humanity and diversity of religions. The Islamophobia Observatory, at the OIC General Secretariat, has been monitoring and cataloguing Islamophobic acts, utterances and events with a view to raising awareness and highlighting the imperative Roundtable on Islamophobia

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of sustained and constructive engagement aimed at combating this negative trend. Apart from the diplomatic channels, OIC has also taken the initiative of sustaining such engagement with intelligentsia, academia and think tanks, by organizing events like the conference on Challenging Stereotypes in Europe and in the Islamic World with Wilton Park in London in May 2006, as well as the International Symposium on Islamophobia at the Georgetown University in Washington in 2007. In pursuit of its policy to combat Islamophobia, the OIC considered it befitting to hold a roundtable event during the 3rd Annual Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 27, 2010, under the theme: “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion�. I was encouraged by the spontaneous support of the UN AoC High Representative Mr. Jorge Sampaio for holding the side event and for having the AoC, the Council of Europe and the British Council as co-sponsors. The Roundtable was successful in bringing together a host of luminaries from different international organizations as well as different segments of East and West alike, who were unanimous in underscoring the dangerous implications of the phenomenon of Islamophobia and the urgency of addressing this problem. The deliberations were high both in quality and depth, and the recommendations put forward were most constructive. A compilation of the deliberations made at the Roundtable is therefore a highly commendable initiative and I earnestly hope that this publication and the message that came out of the Roundtable would permeate to all segments of our societies in order to sensitize the global community of the phenomenon of Islamophobia and to strengthen and intensify our collective efforts to address the issue. I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who were involved in this endeavour. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

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Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Foreword by Jorge Sampaio, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations It gives me great pleasure that this publication will contribute to enlarge the Roundtable on “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion�, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May 2010, to a virtually global audience. More discussions, involving the widest array of partners around the world, are needed in order to reflect realities on the ground and to open up new avenues for cooperation at grass roots level. Global speeches are necessary reminders of basic universal principles, such as those expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. But the implementation and the enforcement of rights are always first and foremost a national issue. Therefore to confront in an effective way racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including discrimination against persons based on their religion or belief, and incitement to hate, we need to focus on local actions aimed at achieving concrete targets. Indeed, improving legislative patterns and judicial practices at national level remains a demanding challenge. But further to this perspective, policies namely on education, youth, media and migration are of the utmost importance, because our societies are increasingly diverse and we live in a world where a conflict anywhere is a conflict everywhere.

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In this context, the need to build bridges between societies, to promote dialogue and understanding and to forge the collective political will to address the world’s imbalances has never been greater. This urgent task is the raison d’être of the Alliance of Civilizations. This is why I am pleased to announce here that this year the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will place special emphasis on the topic of religious diversity, building upon the previous initiatives promoted in 2010 focused on the need for further developing the concept of religious pluralism, enhancing freedom of religion and confronting discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including discrimination against persons based on their religion or belief. Manifestations of Islamophobia as well as of Christianophobia and anti-Semitism violate freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, which are human rights enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Articles 18 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. To build human security and peace within and among societies we need to work further to uphold all these rights and to “strive for the full protection and promotion in all our countries of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all”, including migrants and minority rights, as stated in the Millennium Declaration. We need also to make additional efforts on education of human rights, education for tolerance and respect and education for a culture of peace. Education in the largest sense, including media, history and religious literacy, is a key issue because ignorance feeds fears and fear fuels prejudices and tensions. As most of the present tensions and ongoing conflicts in the world have a cultural and religious component, we need to invest more in soft power tools to deal with these situations. The human dimension of peace and development is a fundamental one, though a point that tends to be missing from the international agenda. Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Ten years after 911/ it is time for the international community to invest more in preventing conflicts and in its complementary face, I mean the human dimension of peace. This means paying extra attention to human dignity in all its dimensions, to fundamental values - such as freedom, equality, solidarity, respect and tolerance – and to common aspirations of all peoples and individuals. This requires extra capacity for action at all levels; governments, the international community, but also civil society, grass roots level. Only multi-layered action will allow the 21st Century to create an opportunity for building a better world and for making a difference. Dr. Jorge Sampaio

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Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Roundtable on “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion” Overview Co-organized by the UN AoC, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the British Council, the aim of this Roundtable was to hold an informed debate on how to address Islamophobia from a result-oriented perspective. This Roundtable, announced in advance via the Forum’s website and open to public participation, attracted a big audience and brought together a very high-level array of panelists who shared their different points of views during a debate moderated by Mr. Iqbal Riza, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. To introduce the debate several notes were prepared in advance and distributed among the participants, namely a note by President Sampaio, High Representative of the UNAOC; a note by Ambassador Ömür Orhun, Adviser to the OIC and Focal Point of the OIC to the UN AoC; and a note by Mrs. Beate Winkler, Director of the former European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). These notes can be found as annexes to this booklet. Further to the points made in the written note, in his opening remarks President Sampaio stressed the twofold purpose of this Roundtable — to serve as a platform to engage a meaningful dialogue about confronting Islamophobia and to generate concrete proposals for action at the global and regional level. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General, underscored the dangerous implications of the growing trend of Islamophobia in particular in European societies where after all, he

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stressed, Muslims are not aliens. Advocating a constructive engagement rather than confrontation to tackle Islamophobia, he called upon Western countries to stop looking at the concept of defamation of religions with suspicion and mentioned a number of ongoing initiatives aimed at raising global awareness to the basic tenets of moderation in Islam such as a Conference that the OIC will organize in 2011 aimed at bringing “historical reconciliation between Islam and Christianity”. Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, recalled that from the outset UNESCO’s action has been based on the idea of eliminating ignorance and prejudices among cultures, so UNESCO has always highlighted the major contribution of Islamic culture to humanity and has endeavored to develop a positive view for the Islamophobia problem. In this regard, the role of education was underscored. Mr. Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), provided an overview of the way his organization works in favor of tolerance and nondiscrimination regarding the Jewish, Islamic, Christian and other religions. On the issue of discrimination against Muslims, he addressed some key points, namely: release of annual reports on hate crime by ODHIR in spite of lack of comprehensive data collection mechanisms and of appropriate financial and human resources to monitor crimes of this kind in some countries; role of public discourse by key leaders to develop a different narrative and combat stereotypes; and discriminatory state practices. Additionally, some important OSCE initiatives were mentioned, such as the “Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religion and Beliefs in Public Schools” and the forthcoming “ODIHR Guidelines for Educators on Intolerance against Muslims”, a joint initiative by the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Together, these tools should contribute to build the references for combating discrimination against Muslims. Last but not least, Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut called upon the need for a consensus on how this phenomenon should be addressed by states, intergovernmental organizations and civil society. In this regard, he stressed three final Roundtable on Islamophobia

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points: the need to protect each individual and each community, including Muslim communities, against any act of intolerance and discrimination; the need to protect our societies and our states themselves against the actions of religious extremists, including those abusing religion for religious purposes; the need to continue the work of education and the work of outreach to the media, to all generations. Ambassador Usen Suleimenov made a speech on behalf of the Kazakh Chairmanship of the OSCE stressing that his country, because of its 136 nationalities representing 46 confessions, was developing an active policy designed to promote tolerance, non-discrimination and respect between different cultures and religions in his country. This explains also that the Republic of Kazakhstan, as the Chair of the OSCE in 2010, has chosen a slogan of “Four Ts”, which stand for Trust, Transparency, Tradition and Tolerance, and made the topic of Tolerance and NonDiscrimination one of its main priorities in hosting the OSCE HighLevel Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination on 2930- June 2010 this year. Furthermore, as the Chair of the Organization of Islamic Conference in 2011, Kazakhstan intends to continue these endeavours. Ms. Beate Winkler, former Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), and current Adviser for European Policies on Inclusive Societies and Intercultural Dialogue, emphasized three main messages: the need to create change and prevent negative perceptions, attitudes and images on Muslims from blocking positive developments; the need to integrate into all strategies for action the factual but also the emotional dimension of this problem; the need to address the “negative perceptions”, expressed particularly by the media, as well as developing political leadership and organizing high cultural and sport events. Professor Mike Hardy, Programme Leader for Intercultural Dialogue of the British Council, pointed out the need for constructive engagement and the role of the British Council (BC) in this regard. He stressed the involvement of the BC in the front line of intercultural dialogue and

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explained in more detail its initiative named ‘Our Shared Europe’, launched a couple of years ago to explore and raise awareness, very directly, about the amazing contribution that Muslims have made to the past, to the present, and to the potential of Europe as a terrain and as a domain. Mr. André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, stressed that Islamophobia was not an issue for Muslims, but an issue for all of us. He called upon the international community to speak out, to say things clearly and to show the same commitment to all forms of intolerance and discrimination, be it against Judaism or Muslims. He also addressed the need to develop apositive approach to the fact that there are today close to ten million Europeans belonging to the Islamic faith. Finally he mentioned that when the ‘Union for the Mediterranean’ is achieved, it would be a historical turning point for countries and peoples from both sides of the Mediterranean. Mr. José María Ferré, Spanish Ambassador at Large for Relations with Muslim Communities Abroad, and Coordinator of the OSCE Cordoba Conference on Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims, recalling the Spanish Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2007 as well as the Seminar on “Freedom of Religion in a Democratic Society” coorganized by the UN AoC and the Spanish Presidency of the EU at the beginning of May 2010, stressed the central role of human rights in Europe, namely the principle of freedom of religion for minorities living in secular societies. In this regard, he also tackled the role played by various interreligious and intercultural dialogue initiatives to foster freedom of religion, such as the Saudi Initiative or the ‘Common Word’ supported by Jordan. Professor Stefano Allievi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Padua, focused his remarks on his study on “Conflict over Mosques in Europe — Policy Issues and Trends” conducted in eleven countries of Europe. Professor Allievi’s main point was that in Europe there is not Roundtable on Islamophobia

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such a problem of freedom of religion for Islam at least in quantitative terms (around eight million Muslims and ten thousand halls of prayer), but only at qualitative level, seen in the increasing number of cultural and religious conflicts emerging everywhere. In this regard, the role of “political entrepreneurs of Islamophobia” was stressed, as well of the media. Cultural pluralism and the ambiguity surrounding what can be called “exceptionalism” were also tackled. Professor Allievi ended by mentioning his current work on the issue of training of religious persons, Imams, religious actors in general, which according to him might become the next thermometer for Islamophobia in Europe. Ambassador Ömür Orhun, Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General and the Focal Point of the OIC to the UN AoC, stressed the issue of identity and focused in particular on Muslims of Europe who can contribute to the re-definition of Europeanness with their own and distinct identities in spite of a growing trend in a Europe that views Islam as a threat to national security and identity. As a conclusion, he requested a normative approach to combat Islamophobia based on a definition of Islamophobia that we all might agree on. Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Swiss Focal Point for the UN AoC, addressed the issue of recent developments that involve the minaret ban in his country, recalling the position of the Swiss Federal Government and of the Federal Parliament against the popular consultation and their call to vote against the proposal, which was accepted, in the end, by a majority. Reflecting on the latest findings of scientific research that shows that the vote was not against the Swiss Muslim community, but rather expressed a reaction against an abstract yet negative image of Islam, Ambassador Fasel explained the ongoing work aimed at increasing the search, together with the Swiss Muslim communities and the Federal Authorities, for ways and means to enhance the visibility of the Swiss Muslim community, so that there is a clear understanding of who they are, and their level of integration in the Swiss society, working with the media, and at the international level developing a practical dialogue, which goes beyond mere practical cognitive dialogue, so that

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a common narrative can be created upon which to build the views we have of each other. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, recalled the work carried out by the Assembly on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, especially its Article 9 (on freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right to manifest one’s religion or beliefs) and Article 10 (on freedom of expression, including the right to express religious or philosophical views or oppose and criticize them). Despite the unique legal protection that the Convention and the European Court of Human Rights provide, Mr. Çavuşoğlu recognized that the reality in the various countries is far more complicated and that racism, xenophobia and all sorts of manifestations of intolerance against people of different religious beliefs are a fact of everyday life in our societies. In particular Islamophobia, in recent years, has been steadily on the rise, noting that growing anti-Muslim feelings amongst the non-Muslim population go hand in hand with growing feelings of victimization, frustration and alienation by Muslims and that Islamophobia is mostly the result of ignorance, misperception and lack of communication and dialogue. He eventually stressed that for the Parliamentary Assembly, in combating Islamophobia, as well as any other form of intolerance based on religious principles, the key to success lies in active and constructive cooperation within societies. He recalled that, on the one hand, European governments have a duty to ensure equal rights and opportunities — both in law and in practice — for all, regardless of their ethnic, cultural and religious origin, and that, on the other hand, Muslims and Muslim communities should be the first ones to condemn and combat any form of political extremism under the cover of Islam. He announced that during the June session, the Parliamentary Assembly will be debating a major report on “Islam and Islamophobia in Europe”. Ms. Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, went through some highlights on studies done at her Center on perception of Islam and Muslims and made Roundtable on Islamophobia

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a few points on why it is in the self-interest of non-Muslim majority societies to combat Islamophobia. On the former, she stressed that in the United States, Islam and Muslims are the most negatively viewed religious group of the ones tested by Gallup (about 43% of Americans say that they have at least some prejudice against Muslims, 9% say they have a great deal of prejudice) and that this extreme prejudice was correlated not with the level of education, nor with religious practice, but with that person’s opinion of Jews, so that anti-Semitic sentiment was the strongest predictor of anti-Muslim sentiments. Ms Mogahed stressed the importance of this empirical link between Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and pointed out that the two things should be dealt with together and should even be studied together. The second finding that she highlighted was that one’s opinion of Islam, as a faith, was far more powerful in predicting whether people had prejudice or tolerance than was one’s personal interaction with Muslims. Muslims, as a group, is their perception of Islam as a faith — what it teaches, what it stands for — that colors their view of the group much more than the exceptional Muslim doctor or dentist that they might know who is acceptable. As a concluding remark, Ms. Mogahed underscored the need for Western societies — Western democracies specifically — to care about Islamophobia because it is an ideology that fuels extremist narratives and should be seen as a threat to national security. She stressed that, in the end, Islamophobia is not something Western societies need to combat simply to be generous or to be charitable to Muslims. It is something that is hurting everyone; it truly is hurting society as a whole. Mr. Rashad Hussain, the US Special Envoy to the OIC, mentioned what the United States is doing to combat this problem, Islamophobia, from the actions taken within the United States and within the international community. First, of course, there had been the President’s outreach on this issue, making it clear several times and on various occasions that Islam is actually not a problem, but is a part of the solution. Furthermore, there are a number of actions taken, such as increased educational exchanges and real people-to-people interaction. Lastly, another area

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the President mentioned in his Cairo speech was the defense of the ability to practice Islam, which is something he talked about in terms of a woman’s right to wear hijab, something that the United States continues to defend. The second point is the legal channel, because in the United States there is a legal mechanism in place by which to combat Islamophobia (First Amendment to the US Constitution; the Bill of Rights guarantees free practice of religion), even if there are certain limits to the legal avenue. Mr. Radhouane Nouicer, UNHCR Representative to Rio Forum, focused his speech on the refugees and asylum seekers dimension of the problem, pointing out two complementary facts: today a majority of asylum seekers and refugees in the world adhere to the Islamic faith and most of the populations hosting them are also Muslim. Furthermore, he stressed that this occurs at a time when the level of extremism — ethnic and religious — is on the rise around the globe, even in the world’s most developed societies, and when racism, xenophobia and populist fear-mongering manipulate public opinion and confuse refugees with illegal immigrants and even terrorists. As a contribution to dispelling this confusion and these misperceptions, Mr. Nouicer mentioned that UNHCR commissioned a comparative study titled “The right to asylum between Islamic Sharia and international refugee law” that shows that more than any other historical source, Islamic law and tradition underpin the modern-day framework upon which UNHCR bases its global activities on behalf of refugees. He referred to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the UNHCR to support each other’s efforts in promoting cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation among nations and people across cultures and religions, and to help counter forces that fuel polarization and extremism. Mr. Bogaç Güldere, the Turkish Focal Point to the AoC, underscored that mutual distrust and mutual alienation dominate the atmosphere of interactions between communities. He drew attention to the need to unlearn ignorance, scale up efforts to develop further interactions Roundtable on Islamophobia

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among communities at grassroots level, to dwell upon school curricula as well as the need for a more positive role to be developed by media coverage, particularly through the Rapid Response Media Mechanism that was launched by the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Mr. Nazim Ahmad, Representative in Portugal and in Mozambique of the Aga Khan Development Network, stressing that his understanding was underpinned by his own Shia Ismaili Muslim tradition, focused on the need to address not the so-called clash of civilizations but the clash of ignorance that is filled by the education vacuum that persists in not teaching enough about the others. Ignorance, which can frequently lead to fear, is the root cause of many phobias, and is certainly at the heart of what is called Islamophobia. Some of the clashes, which captured the media headlines in some parts, occur where passions of free speech confuse liberty with license. In this regard, Mr. Nazim quoted Aga Khan, the Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, calling for a renewal of an ethical commitment or “ethical sensibility which can be shared across denominational lines and that can foster a universal moral outlook� as a central requirement if we are to find our way through the minefields and quick sands of modern life. With such an impressive number of panelists, because of lack of time it was not possible to enlarge the debate to the audience, much to the regret of some attendees who expressed their frustration. In his concluding remarks, President Sampaio expressed his satisfaction with the Roundtable which brought to light some differences in points of views but also allowed a sharing of experiences, concerns and expectations, besides gathering ideas for possible future actions. In his final intervention, Mr. Riza pointed out that although the debate was very much focused on Muslims in Europe, Islamophobia is a global issue and also exists in the Muslim world, including in his own country, Pakistan.

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I. Roundtable “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion” HeldDuring the 3rd Annual Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 27 May 2010) The OIC organized, together with the UN AoC, the Council of Europe (CoE), and the British Council a Roundtable on “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion” on 27 May 2010 during the Third Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event aimed at holding an informed debate on how to address Islamophobia from a result-oriented perspective. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC SG), Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who was leading the OIC delegation to the Third AoC Global Forum, participated in the Roundtable as part of the panel. Other members of the panel were as follows: a) Mr Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations b) Mme Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO c) Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Secretary General of the OSCE d) Mrs. Beate Winkler, Director of the former European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) e) Mr. Mike Hardy, Programme Leader for Intercultural Dialogue, British Council f) Mr. André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh EuroMediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures g) Ambassador José Mª Ferré, Ambassador at Large for Relations with Muslim Communities Abroad, Spain Roundtable on Islamophobia

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h) Mr Stefano Allievi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Padua, author of a study on “Conflict over Mosques in Europe – policy issues and trends” i) Ambassador Ömür Orhun, Adviser to the OIC and Focal Point of the OIC to the AoC j) Ambassador Alexandre Fasel , Swiss Focal Point to the AoC k) Mr. Mevlüt Çavusoglu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe l) Mrs Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Center for Muslim Studies m) Mr. Rashad Hussein, US Representative and US Special Envoy to the OIC n) Mr. Bogaç Güldere, the Turkish Focal Point to the AoC o) Mr. Usen Suleimenov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE p) Mr Radhouane Nouicer, Director of the UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa q) Mr. Nazim Ahmad, Aga Khan Development Network Representative in Portugal and in Mozambique

II. Opening Remarks

1. Mr. Iqbal Riza: The Roundtable was moderated by Mr. Iqbal Riza, Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary General for the Alliance of Civilizations, who in his opening remarks stated the following: “I am not here to give my views, the panelists are. I will simply make brief introductory comments. The phenomenon of Islamophobia is very real: we see it, we know it, and it has been analyzed intensively, as shown by the papers circulated to the members of the panel. So there is a deep analysis already available. Second, I would say that any critical issue that is examined has to be seen within a context. It cannot be examined in isolation. It is not something that, spontaneously, comes out of the earth. There is a historical context,

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there is a contemporary context, there are currents that shape the issue, and I would say that this issue, which is so important for Muslim societies, should be seen in its context, and I would only mention one item, which is the role of the media. I shall say no more. We should turn to the panel. I first ask President Sampaio to take the floor and also to please set the example of brevity because I will be timing each speaker.” 2. President Jorge Sampaio, the High Representative of the UN AoC : “First of all, I would like to thank the co-organizers of this Roundtable for their active collaboration in its preparation, as well as the participants who sometimes had to adapt their agendas to make their participation possible. I do not want to take up too much of our valuable time because I have already shared with you some thoughts on this topical issue. Let me, however, and very quickly stress two points: Firstly, on the purpose of this session: In supporting and participating in this session, my aim as High Representative for the Alliance is really to see that it serves as platform to engage a meaningful dialogue about confronting Islamophobia. For this to happen, it means that we need to go beyond words, beyond calls, let alone accusations. It means that we need to move to action. But for that, of course, we need to recognize that we face problems on both sides. This is a prerequisite to avoid deepening the double helix spiral of denial and victimization. Secondly, from this session some concrete proposals for action should come out – action at global and regional level. In this regard, I would like to stress that in addition to local action, which always builds on the concrete situation on the ground, we cannot ignore that there is also a global dimension that has to be taken into consideration if we want Roundtable on Islamophobia

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be serious about combating Islamophobia, understood within the broad concepts of racism and social discrimination. And so, in my view, a strategy for change, thought globally, of course, makes sense, as well as regional strategies, although I am in your hands and keen on the exchange of views that we will hold here.� 3. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC: “Let me first of all begin by thanking the Alliance of Civilizations, the Council of Europe and the British Council for co-sponsoring this special event organized by the OIC. I have come to Rio with feelings of great optimism. Despite that I have been in too many conferences, and for a long time attending and organizing meetings on dialogue, without much real impact, but this event is different. I am here with great optimism; just because of the concept papers that were circulated in advance uphold the reasons to feel so. The high level participation at this event, together with the fact that the event is being co-sponsored by reputed international organizations, assure me of the global awareness of the gravity of the phenomenon of Islamophobia and the urgent need to address it. A major impediment to the global quest to combating incitement and religious intolerance and to the Alliance of Civilizations’ efforts is the steady rise of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Looking at the issue dispassionately and objectively we see that it is a new form of xenophobia and racism that is being pursued by right wing extremist elements in the West. These elements may not be large in number but they have proved themselves effective in corrupting the minds of the ordinary people and then force the people to take a negative and distorted view of Islam and Muslims. This trend is gaining in strength by the day and unless we can take a collective stand against it now, its dangerous implications would be far beyond what we can

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imagine. The issue of Muslim-West divide and Islamophobia, which is a reflection of this divide, has been dealt extensively and in depth in the Report of the High Level Group which led to the establishment of the Alliance of Civilizations. I am pleased to see that Mr. Andre Azoulay, President of Anna Lindh Foundation, one of the authors of the Report, is a panelist among us here. Over the past year, we have witnessed a surge in Islamophobia in the wake of a succession of high profile and far reaching events that was manifest in developments such as far right political parties gaining representation in the EU parliamentary elections and signs of their rising popularity in many traditionally liberal European countries. Violent incidents such as the brutal murder of the Egyptian lady Marwa Al-Sharbini in a German courtroom, the desecration of graves of the Senegalese soldiers who sacrificed their lives defending the French flag during the First World War, the unabated publication of provocative and insulting material, including publications and reprints of cartoons of revered Personalities, including those of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Prophet Jesus (PBUH), and others, and in particular the constitutional amendment that imposed a ban on construction of minarets in mosques in Switzerland are only a few examples in this context. The amendment of the Swiss Constitution was first in contemporary history of a state legislation that is directed against a particular religion, in this case Islam. As such, Islamophobia has now become institutionalized and constitutionalized, much to the regret of the prominent quarters of our globe. Muslims are not aliens in Europe. This is a fact, which Europeans must come to terms with. I am pleased to note that the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Report on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia in Europe has admitted that Muslims in Europe feel socially excluded, stigmatized, discriminated and have become victims of stereotypes because of their Roundtable on Islamophobia

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religious and cultural traditions. I am also pleased to note that the Committee has recognized that Europe was home to Muslims for many centuries and has noted the contribution of the Islamic civilization to European culture. The OIC, fortunately and correctly, is dealing with this. And to address the phenomenon of Islamophobia, it is necessary to diagnose the issue and to determine the causes behind the phenomenon and come up with appropriate remedies. We have taken in the OIC a strategy that is based not on confrontation but on constructive engagement. We believe that such an engagement must involve all segments of the society, beginning at the community level. If we restrict ourselves to diplomatic and academic discourse and to political rhetoric, we will not be able to have tangible results. The outcome of the Swiss referendum bears testimony to what I have said. An important element in this strategy is designed to raise global awareness to the basic tenets of moderation in Islam and to the dangerous implications of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. To implement this strategy, we are involved in various international inter-cultural and inter-civilizational events. The OIC has pioneered the Dialogue among Civilizations for the sake of promotion of inter-faith and inter-communal harmony. I must mention here that the initiative on interfaith dialogue taken by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2008, to which Heads of the State and Government, as well as political leaders, diplomats, academics and religious leaders participated in Madrid and at the UN in New York, was one of the most highest initiatives taken at the political level to combat religious intolerance. The OIC gave its full support to this initiative. The UN Resolution on Defamation of Religions has repeatedly been adopted by the Human Rights Council and by the UN General Assembly. The stance taken by the Western Group on the inadmissibility of the

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concept of defamation of religions (owing to a lack of legal persona) in the human rights framework continues to impede constructive engagement in this field. I feel that the Western Group at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the UN General Assembly should not look at this resolution with suspicion or as a shrouded mechanism of the OIC group to achieve an anti-western agenda. The resolution seeks a protection of individuals to uphold their human rights. When hatred and incitement is unleashed in the pretext of freedom of expression, it arouses sentiments and gives way to violence and avoidable loss of innocent people. I do hope that we will be able to overcome this rather artificial misunderstanding by accommodating mutual perspectives. Another effective means in addressing Islamophobia, in my view, is to bring about a “Historical Reconciliation” between Islam and Christianity. I presented this idea at various international seminars and conferences and I am pleased to note that many have responded positively. The process that would lead to the reconciliation, no doubt, would need to be deliberated in depth. We would have to: First: agree on the points that we cannot agree upon, Second: agree on the elements that we agree, and Third: then proceed on to reconcile by accommodating all towards a solution. We are working on a major Conference in this context next year and I would hope many of the distinguished participants assembled here will be able to attend the conference.” 4. Ms. Irina Bukova, the Director General of UNESCO: “I am very happy, as Director General of UNESCO, to be here and to participate in this debate. As you all know, from the outset, UNESCO’s action has been based, exactly, on the idea of eliminating ignorance and prejudices, and to correct erroneous collective representations in the way cultures relate to each other in order to build mutual trust conducive to Roundtable on Islamophobia

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lasting peace among and within our increasingly diversified societies. In accordance with our constitution, UNESCO’s Constitution, ignorance, which affects the ways and lives of all, has also been the common cause throughout history of mankind of suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world, through which the differences have all too often broken into wars is very much inherent to our actions. In this regard, Islamophobia at UNESCO is considered not only groundless fear per se, that has to be eradicated, but by highlighting the major contribution of Islamic cultural heritage to humanity. We try to make a positive look at this problem, and we are giving priority to this mission a positive approach rather than fighting the fears, by reaffirming the freedom and respect, which are complementary principles. Let me say that UNESCO has been doing for a very long time an effort to promote the Islamic culture through our close cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Our Memorandum of Understanding, the very close cooperation that we have with ISESCO, with ALESCO, and the recently signed agreement that I signed with the Arab Thought Foundation, and with all the different projects and the publications that we have done in the recent years. We consider that projects like the project on interfaith dialogue, which is also very much into UNESCO’s agenda, or our Projects on Roads of Dialogue, big Projects on Roads of Dialogue Programme, like the Silk Road, the Iron Road, the Slave Route, and also which includes the Roads of Faith, a very important flagship project, which is designed to show how the different religions, the three religions of the Book, have contributed to generations and to propagation of spiritual, cultural, and artistic wealth. Through the production of ‘difference books’, like the “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture”, with the last one is being published this year of 2010, “The History of Humanity”, just completed and published in English and in Arabic, like “The History of General History of Africa, General History of Civilization of Central Asia, General History of Latin

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America”, and the others. We consider that this work of affirmative, positive side of the contribution of Islamic Culture is an extremely important element in trying to understand what is at stake when we talk about Islamophobia or any other negative impact…and of course, everything that we do in the area of education, which also we consider to be an extremely important topic. “The Associated Schools Network”, adopted by us, “UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education”, adds also concrete tools to President Sampaio, who said that it is not only important nowadays to make the declaration and to make a statement of state of affairs, we all know the problem. Now, the question is how we make this work, how, in practical terms, we work for some solutions? And I think that we at UNESCO, a very well placed, through our mandate, which is in education, which is in culture to the protection of heritage of both tangible and intangible, through the promotion of this heritage, through making it part of the intercultural dialogue, through the promotion of cultural diversity, through this affirmative actions, we think that we contribute also to fighting Islamophobia.” 5. Mr. Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperating in Europe (OSCE): “I will be speaking on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperating in Europe. You may all know that when in 1975, at Helsinki, 35 Heads of State and Government tried to put together a package for stability and peace in Europe, one of the main elements of this package was the assertion of freedom of belief as an element which was necessary to the stability of societies and to the cohabitation of different societies within Europe. 35 years later, at 56, we still have issues of tolerance and non-discrimination as the key factor of stability and peace in Europe. The OSCE is trying to address it, if I may say so, taking it as a whole. The relationship between the secular society and the religious fact is not specific to any particular religion. We have three tracks along Roundtable on Islamophobia

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which we are working: i) discrimination against the Jewish religion, ii) discrimination against Islam, and iii) discrimination against Christianity and other religions. There is a Special Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for each of them. Currently, in terms of addressing discrimination against Islam, is Ambassador Akhmetov of Kazakhstan. My Kazakh colleague will mention his work following the remarkable work done by Ambassador Orhun, who will also take the floor. In 2007, in Cordoba in Spain, we had a specific conference dedicated to the issue of Islamophobia, if I may say, on its own singular merits. Let me very briefly and very directly address three or four of the key points, which are on our minds right now in terms of addressing the question of discrimination against Muslims: First, the Office of Democratic Institution and Human Rights, which is the human rights arm of the OSCE, every year, puts together a hate crime report. We had great difficult to get reliable information regarding hate crimes, which are motivated by intolerance against Muslims. Very few participating States have data collection mechanisms that include information, which is desegregated regarding anti-Muslim hate crimes and NGOs do not have the financial or human resources to monitor that crime. Second issue: Public discourse, and I think it was very obvious in my two predecessors’ presentations, the political leaders, political opinionmakers, media have a key role in diffusing tensions between groups, in condemning violent manifestations of intolerance, in putting forward a different narrative, a different history about what a cohesive society should be about, and in combating stereotypes. This is a central issue that may have seen some improvements in the recent period. But it will be with us for many years to come. Third point: discriminatory state practices. Discriminatory practices in everyday life in the work of the state machinery can lead to spreading bias, can lead to creating fertile ground for hate crimes. Let’s be candid

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among ourselves: some anti-terrorism measures and restrictions, based on the manifestations of a person’s religion, do raise concerns because of the disproportionate effect they have on the Muslims and on the Muslim community. It is very clear that while we recognize the danger of terrorist threats, and the duty of the state to ensure the security of the citizens, one must not forget that any counterterrorist measures should be designed and enforced within the framework of human rights protection and non-discrimination, particularly, in respect to the Muslim population. So, we all know…discrimination against Muslims has a negative effect not only on daily lives of the Muslim communities; they have a negative effect on the societies at large where it takes place. They lead to alienation; they lead to tensions within states, between states. And I think we have, thanks to the work of the Alliance on the emerging consensus on how this phenomenon should be addressed by states, by intergovernmental organizations, by civil society. First, we know that each individual and each community, including Muslim communities, must be protected against any act of intolerance and discrimination. This is clearly a basic principle. Second, our societies and our states themselves must be protected against the actions of religious extremists, including those abusing religion for religious purposes. Third, we have to continue the work on education, the work on outreach to the media, to all generations. Let me show you, very briefly, a few of the things ODIHR has been working on: i) “Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religion and Beliefs in Public Schools”, which we have tried to spread; ii) “Muslims in Spain”, jointly prepared by ODIHR and Casa Árabe. And last point, Moderator. We are currently working on “ODIHR Guidelines for Educators on Intolerance against Muslims”, which will be a joint endeavor with the Council of Europe and with UNESCO. In so doing, we are trying to put our little contribution to build the references for combating discrimination against Muslims.” Roundtable on Islamophobia

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II. Interventions by other panelists: 1. Ms. Beate Winkler, former Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), and current Adviser for European Policies on Inclusive Societies and Intercultural Dialogue: “I would like to make one remark on the context, and then come to three messages. The remark to the context is: we are facing tremendous challenges. We are confronted with climate change, with birth rate increases, with the change of the democratic situation, we have also food crisis, and so on. And my fear is that extremism will increase and people will look for simple solutions for the most complex problems of our times, and therefore the initiatives like the Alliance of Civilizations is of utmost importance. We can only solve the problems together. This is my remark, and then it comes to my first message: We are here to create change, but negative perceptions on Muslims block positive developments: Change is possible. And change could happen much stronger and much more effective when we address the blocking force “negative perceptions of Muslims� in Europe. Negative perceptions that mean negative attitudes and images, prejudices and wrong information, not only influence the daily life of Muslims but also block positive developments. Each problem has always two aspects: One is factual and the other is emotional. But in all our strategies and our action plans, normally we are only addressing the factual situation and not the emotions. And with these negative attitudes, positive solutions cannot be found. And, therefore, it is my strong message to integrate aspects of perceptions in all our strategies and action plans. My second message is: Muslims are confronted with stereotypes, wrong

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information and negative attitudes — besides positive perspectives and also besides the commitment of the European Union to confront and solve this situation, and also the Member States. It has a unique body, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which has the task to address human rights and violations of human rights within the European Union. But nevertheless, we have negative developments. New studies show very clearly from 2009 that: • • •

Islam is judged as not fitting to European culture; Prejudices toward Muslims are common; Thirdly, Islam is perceived as an intolerant religion.

And this is also the result of 911/. My third message is: We have to address the blocking force “negative perceptions” strongly in all our Action Plans and Strategies: in my experience, there are seven areas in which this could be done. Here I only would like to concentrate on three aspects: Dealing with the media: The media is only a tool for information, but the media creates images, the media creates influences and feelings, and feelings are stronger…images are much stronger than any word. We are using words and pictures. Therefore, I propose, I made in my paper several proposals to different aspects…I propose to establish a media award on intercultural dialogue, which also is combined with training for journalists in order to influence perceptions. The other aspect is the need for political leadership: we know that after the “London Bombings”, it was clear from the political leadership… there was an increase in Islamophobia within five weeks to the tune of 500%. But the British Government together with the media and the members of the Muslim community has done a marvellous work, they made it very clear that this is not at all accepted and violence decreased to the normal level. Therefore, a very practical proposal, I think that the Heads of States should be addressed to integrate, in their New Year Roundtable on Islamophobia

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eve’s speech, the need for intercultural dialogue. It is one letter and the support coverage. The third aspect is that we need high cultural and sport events in order to address potentials to change the view from threat to opportunity. And this can be done…that this element is integrated in the work of the European Cultural Capitals. It can also be done like integrating the aspect of intercultural dialogue in the New Years eve concert of the Viennese Philharmonic, the conductor always gives a “strong message” by the end of the concert to the world. Fifty states are covered or integrated in FIFA. I think that we have a lot of opportunities and all we need is to use it.” 2 Prof. Mike Hardy, Programme Leader for Intercultural Dialogue of the British Council: “It is a great privilege to be part of this important discussion. I want to start by saying two things: I am a very practical person; this is a very important issue, and why would I bring the British Council and its work to be a co-sponsor of this session. I think it is very important to make it clear. I was very much warmed by Professor Ihsanoglu’s comments about how we deal with this important issue. The previous speakers have also amplified certainly adequately. And we can look at this as a source of confrontation which causes barriers to the ambitions and aspirations that we have. As professionals and as passionate believers in coexistence, all we can look is at the strategies for constructive engagement. The British Council is a funding cultural institution 76 years old now, why it would be involved in the front line of intercultural dialogue, as I believe it is now? It is because we define culture in a new and fresh way for a new and difficult age that has been described already. We describe culture in a way that there is an important part of the global diverse

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societies, which will not go away, which we have to deal with. The Council now aligns itself very closely to the ambitions of the Alliance of Civilizations. We are involved on a whole range of interventions in partnership, and that is important to us. But I want really to dwell on two or three of the constructive engagements. Many colleagues here will now recall how we launch an important initiative, we call it ‘Our Shared Europe’. We launched it a couple of years ago to explore and raise awareness, very directly, about the amazing contribution that Muslims have made in the past, to the present, and to the potential of Europe as a terrain, as a domain. It was an important initiative, people worried about it daring to do this, important initiative because it got attraction, very quickly, with important communities in Europe who wanted to discuss the issue, who wanted to challenge the misunderstandings, which were the source of some, and certainly all, of the hate crimes, and of the conflict, and of the ignorance that leads to xenophobia and extremism. We said at the same time that we were launching ‘Our Shared Europe’, which is a major dialogue, very very open, which challenges misconceptions. We said at the same time that we wanted to challenge extremism in all its forms consistent with previous views. The program involves creating space for dialogue, which is very focused in the mission of the progress. It works with linking schools of different faiths in different communities, faiths and their own identities. It leads by linking young people as citizens of a new and complex world, rather than passport holders. It leads with promoting debates about contemporary issues of our time. In the second year, when news of its profile and its slow but sure progression reached the United States, it was really interesting to bridge that gap between the transatlantic bridge, as we now call it, between interests among academics and communities here…in the United States and Europe. We begin to understand by peace building and assessment for constructive engagement on this issue just in Europe was, perhaps, limiting. Roundtable on Islamophobia

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We have a very new initiative that is going to, hopefully, over the next twelve months develop strong Muslims in the West community, which we don’t only sponsor, which we will mobilize more of the thinking and more of the debate to this happening widely across all of our communities. Just a final comment: three years ago, the British Council only just began to raise the profile in its programmes of the importance of intercultural dialogue. It now has very little discomfort of working in this terrain. It was very uncomfortable when we started, and I think that is quite an important lesson, being a practical person. The reason that I am very proud to sponsor this discussion, we said that we look at some of these uncomfortable issues together, and move the agenda forward into positive times. We all believe in a world that diversity brings richness and strength, and I think focusing through our lens on the richness and strength of diversity will be of great help to those who influence and lead.” 3. Mr. André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh EuroMediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures: “Let me first celebrate with you the fact that today we have all the major organizations of the international community together sharing the same approach, and the same commitment to speak out and it is very meaningful to have you Mr. Ihsanoglu for the Organization of the Islamic Conference sitting with all these organizations to address the Islamophobia issue. It is not an issue for the Muslims, it is an issue for all of us, and it is time for the international community to speak out to say things clearly and to show the same commitment. It is a universal fight, it is a human fight, it is not the fight of the Muslims, it is our fight. And I want also to emphasize the fact that today…I mean we have two faces to this issue. All what was said regarding stereotypes,

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stigmatization of religions is absolutely true. Let me just mention the fact that there is another facet, another approach, which is that we, in the Arab world, consider the fact that having today close to ten million Europeans belonging to the Islamic faith is something which is very strong, very compromising, and a very optimistic asset for all of us, humanly, culturally, demographically, and in all kinds of means. And I think that we have also to raise the fact that when we address this issue of Islamophobia, we have also to explain that is not just in a logic of, you know, resisting to racism or to stigmatization, it is also responsibility to all for us to show the positive means of it. And I see when you have, when you put in the same perspective the way President Obama addressed the Muslim World, just a year ago, in Al Azhar University…it was, you know, something, which many of us didn’t, I mean, not only expect it, but dreamed of it. To have the President of United States of America speaking in direction of the Muslim World the way he did, such a clarity, such honesty, and such conviviality. He started his speech by speaking in Arabic, never happened…first time in history. In the same time you have Europe, which is in its way to build and to forge, with the southern countries of the Mediterranean, something that is called ‘Union for the Mediterranean’. The day it will be achieved, and it will be achieved one day. It was also an historical turning point, it will take time, it is not for tomorrow morning, but it will happen one day, which means that we have 27 European countries, Christian and Jewish, in the same common destiny with the Arab-Muslim countries on the other side of the Mediterranean…it never happened, and it is something that also we have to take into consideration and to build on it. I mean Islamophobia is also to let our public opinion, our peoples to be aware of these dynamics and I think also that we have to make very clear that to resist anti-Semitism means that we have also by the same commitment and the same engagement resisting Islamophobia. There is Roundtable on Islamophobia

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no way by combating anti-Semitism if we don’t have the same people committed to resist anti-Judaism or anti-Semitism on both to resist Islamophobia and stigmatization of Islam. And I think that we have, on that point also to make it loudly, to speak, very clearly, and to give a chance also to those who incite the Muslim world, incite the Arab World.We have to considerthe resistance to Islamophobia with the same commitment of resisting anti-Semitism.” 4. Ambassador José Mª Ferré, Spanish Ambassador at Large for Relations with Muslim Communities Abroad: “Following your advice, I will not make any statement, but only some comments. I want also to thank the organizers of the side event because I think that it is an important event that can be done in Rio during the Third Forum. Of course, the subject of our meeting this afternoon is very important for us in Spain, as a country, and as a member of the European Union. We realize that when these things happen it is the whole society that is in the wrong path, but we think we need a broader approach to it…a wider approach. We, for example, as a particular country, we were at the Presidency of the OSCE, as the General Secretary remembered, we organized in Cordoba a Conference about Intolerance and Discrimination towards Muslims. Within this terminology, probably, is more precise, intolerance and discrimination, it is difficult to consider a particular religion discriminated in Europe or in the West. Of course, we can discuss about it, but we are, particularly, keen about respecting human rights, and one of these human rights is freedom of religion and belief, and we live like that in Europe, with freedom of religion and belief. We have in the West, probably, the highest level of freedom of cult for Muslims also, it is in the West where they can practice their religion in a freer way. There is not a particular discrimination for religious questions in our countries, there can be discriminations for other questions, social and economic questions that not only against Muslims, of course, and

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we work, in a very hard way, against them. We have to work in a strong way for human rights, taking into account that they are universal and indivisible. And the human right of freedom of religion means to have a religion, or not to have a religion, or to change a religion. And this is the way how we are living inside the Europe. There are many possible things we have to do: we have to increase, very much, the mutual knowledge and the respect; we cannot accept any lack of respect to another one, if we don’t respect him how we can consider him an equal to us or how we can consider him a citizen with his rights and duties like us. And the mutual knowledge, of course, is one of the most important things, today, that we have to do in Spain or in Europe or in the West. And the Alliance of Civilizations is a very important endeavour to increase this mutual knowledge on both ways. We are also very interested in the benefits of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The Secretary General of the Islamic Conference mentioned the Saudi initiative. We are part of it, I have personally been in the Madrid Conference or in the Geneva Conference. We think that it is a very good example, but in Geneva, in the final document, there was a formal acceptance of the human rights, which is a very very important thing in this very important initiative. So, we have a very good common way to work there, I am talking about common, we have also, of course, the ‘Common Word’ is another initiative that comes from Jordan, many of you are incorporated with, and it has one of the most important intellectual and academic levels that we can have in the world. And it has to be known, pretty much, once it will be known better; we will have the important things there. I also want to stress that the Secretary General of the Islamic Conference said that “Islam is not alien in Europe”, and now by the way we have this very particular and original situation because for the first time in history, there is a big Muslim community that lives as a minority in a Roundtable on Islamophobia

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secular society. This is very important, a minority in a secular society. We know that the Muslim world is not homogeneous. One of the most elementary ways of thinking is that it is an homogeneous world that wants to adapt or some people think they are completely out of the real situation. But Islam in the West or West and Islam, I am not going to enter into these discussions, being inside a secular society and being a minority has many many things to develop or many interesting things to develop by the way. I just want also to remember that we have just organized as the Presidency of the European Union with the Secretariat of the Alliance of Civilizations a conference in Cordoba at the beginning of this month about ‘Freedom of Religions in a Democratic Society’. We had four panels: about religious pluralism, about the role of religious leaders, about preventing extremism, and about promotion of religious freedom. And I will just say and finish with three points of the fourth panel about the promotion of religious freedom: it was a meeting of experts, especially, and in the conclusion it was said that the Alliance of Civilizations should continue to be an informal forum, where controversial and potentially divisive issues can be addressed in a constructive spirit; it was said that we perceive a risk in the use of terminology “Islam-West” divide. It ignores the global reality of cultural diversity and religious pluralism. We need to recognize that the tensions the Alliance addresses do not follow geographical or religious fault-lines. And there is another point that I want to stress.As I was saying in the beginning, human rights are universal and indivisible, they must be implemented and secured everywhere. And one of them is freedom of religion and belief.” 5. Prof. Stefano Allievi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Padua, author of a study on “Conflict over Mosques in Europe – Policy Issues and Trends”: “It is important that an issue like the one we are dealing with today,

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so important so sanctity…it is needed to be grounded on the empirical level, and if Islamophobia is the fever, we could say, the “Conflict over Mosques in Europe” can be an excellent thermometer to measure it. This is why the Network of European Foundations finances the research conducted in eleven countries of Europe on this issue. The starting point was exactly this one: that even in countries where there has never been any problem about the presence of Islam, now there are conflicts over mosques. Let us think of Austria as one center of history of integration of Islam and teaching Islam in public schools, there have been Islamic centers, cemeteries, and so on, and many others. This way we made the research, so I will not talk about it, it is available on the internet already, and all the national reports will be published by September, as well. I just give one statistical data that in Europe there are, more or less, eight millions of persons coming from Muslim countries, and 10 thousand halls of prayers…that means that in strict terms, there is not problem of freedom of religion for Islam in Europe. But this is on the quantitative level. On the qualitative level the increase of conflicts shows that there are problems from this point of view, and even, as I said before, in countries where there has never been problems before. And all these harsh conflicts are on the cultural level, on the religious level. In a logical aspect, we, the good people, and the enemy using strong, offensive, symbolic actions like I have been astonished that all over Europe, from Italy to Sweden, from Spain to Prague…to Czechoslovakia, there have been acts like using the pork’s head or blood, whatever, to insult Muslims and so on. This shows how relevant the issue is…I would say, coming from the stomach, from the head and the battle over minarets have been the last symptom, is not the cause; it is the symptom of this fever. Many things are shown, for example, a lot of municipalities are seized for specific instructions when mosques are dealt with, asking for questions, for conditions, intervening in the Board of Mosques asking for specific conditions concerning women, and so on, so forth. This Roundtable on Islamophobia

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would have not been acceptable for any other religion, of course, in Europe, and also what is happening in many countries is a selective application of law…what does it mean? It means that laws concerning, let’s say, security, fire escape, and so on, are applied specifically only to Muslims, to mosques in order to close them…it is happening in several places. It is said that we have to respect the law, but normally these are applied for fine and then it solves the problem, but in these cases, in some cases, mosques have been closed because of this. And what is important also is the role of political entrepreneurs of Islamophobia. They play a major role because they want to raise the conflict, but they have no interest in solving the conflict. So, the more the conflict is there, the better for them for electoral purposes. So, in this case we also have the problem of setting the limits of conflicts, even in terms of language. I mean, in many political statements of this kind of parties, for instance, if you substitute the word of ‘Muslim’ with the word of ‘Jews’, these statements would be considered unacceptable in the public space, just to give an example. It is important also that the media and the intellectual legitimacy of this kind of battles against mosques and minarets. But, probably mosques stand for Islam, people are not against mosques per se, when they talk about mosques, they talk about Islam immediately. And probably Islam stands for cultural pluralism, the real problem is there, but Islam is the substantive discourse, if you want or the transitional object in typical analytical terms.So, a final suggestion I would like to make: It is important in this case to get out of what we could call the “exceptionalism”, as other people had said that Islam is an exceptional case. Sometimes, also Muslims have the temptation to go to exceptionals, asking for specific protection from the law, specific protection. And it is important for the states to stay at the level of universalism asking to apply the law for everybody, including Muslims, if there is a freedom of worship for everybody in Europe, there must be also for Muslims. And the very final remark, on this point of view, it is also possible, in this case, to play the internal contradiction. But I am insisting also on another crucial issue.

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I am working presently with other colleagues, which is the training and formation of religious persons, Imams, religious actors in general, it will be the next thermometer for Islamophobia in Europe. It is not yet, it will be in veryshort time. So, we consider that we all agree that it is important to combat this problem.I think we all agree that, from now on, we cannot understand anymore Europe without taking into account its Muslim presence, and, in the meantime, we cannot understand anymore Islam without taking into account its European part of the Ummah, if you want to call it like that.” 6. Ambassador Ömür Orhun, Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General and Focal Point of the OIC to the AoC: “The wise words and the valuable suggestions of the previous speakers, with which I very much agree, make my job rather easy. Therefore, I will try to touch upon only one point and I would like to make one suggestion. I want to stress the issue of identity. As I see it, for Muslims of Europe and, for that matter for immigrant Muslim communities, being European does not constitute a prescribed identity, but it constitutes an ongoing process of becoming. Thus, they contribute to the re-definition of Europeanness with their own and distinct identities. However, and much to my regret, we observe that many Western European countries and, for that matter, their citizenship have a general tendency of regarding Islam as a threat to their national security, as well as, and I must underline this, to their identity. Muslim communities and individual Muslims, on the other hand, display a willingness to incorporate themselves to the system and in that process they seek justice. I have to underline: they seek justice. But, Western democracies and their citizenship regimes fail to treat Muslim, or if you like, minority claims as a search for justice and fairness; and this leads to alienation of them.

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As a conclusion of this topic, I would like to assert that European countries should give in security discourse and engage in justice discourse in their relationships with Muslim communities. As we all know, most European countries nowadays face challenges of managing increasingly diverse and multicultural societies. The richness of such diversity encompasses religious, ethnic, racial and cultural aspects, which sometimes lead to, as we see in some instances, social conflicts. Furthermore, what we observe in the international scene, and it has been underlined throughout today, is increasing polarization, especially along cultural and religious lines. I would submit that these two trends must be addressed in conjunction with each other. As I said, a large part of the problems that Muslims in Europe face is due to ethnic, cultural and religious differences from the mainstream communities, and this leads to a sort of politics of identity. As I observe, this phenomenon has a double effect: i) A marginalized community, in this case the Muslims, are embattled to affirm their unique identity; ii) The host community, on the other hand, is afraid to lose their identity in view of the growing numbers of the Muslim immigrant communities. So far for identity. As far as my proposal, I would submit, that what we need is a normative approach to combat Islamophobia and a definition of Islamophobia that, perhaps, we all might agree. I will not go any further in that respect. My colleagues will recall that I prepared a draft, I tried to put together my considerations on this issue on paper which has been distributed.If the participants would care to have a look to that paper and share their views with me, I would highly appreciate. Finally, a procedural proposal: if the participants would be kind enough to share theirs notes , we can make a good compilation of this event, which, I believe, would represent a good example of combined joint efforts by different international organizations.�

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14. At this point the Chairman said: “We don’t have much time left, I still have members of the original panel to whom I should give the floor. But there are two important participants here who were not listed, but I believe it would be very valuable to hear their views. May I ask Ambassador Fasel of Switzerland to take the floor and to be brief, please, in the view of the short time that remains?” 7. Ambassador Fasel, Swiss Focal Point to the AoC: “Switzerland has been mentioned before and, indeed, the recent developments that involve the minaret ban put us very directly in the face of the problem we are dealing here tonight. And, I would like to share some elements on how we have been trying to come to terms with what has happened. I mean, the fact is…that we have put ourselves at the forefront of an evolution we didn’t want, and were surprised by these European wide negative sentiments towards Muslims and Islam, and, indeed, discrimination on religious grounds. And because this prohibition is discriminating the Muslim community, the Swiss Federal Government, as well as the Federal Parliament were against this initiative, and we invited to vote against…but yet it was accepted with a majority of 52.7%. Come to think of it, we have…if you look at the Swiss constitutional history; sadly, we have a tradition of constitutional discrimination on religious grounds. In the back nineteenth century against Catholics when the Jesuits were prohibited and expelled. Later when the Catholic Church was unable to form dioceses themselves, but have to ask for the approval of the Federal Government, and also the prohibition of the Jewish rituals slaughtering. We have come away, over time, in all those discriminations and yet we have introduced a new one: the prohibition of construction of new minarets, and this is what has been prohibited, new minarets. So existing Roundtable on Islamophobia

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minarets are here to stay, existing Muslim prayer rooms and mosques and new ones can be established, and everybody has, of course, the right to profess and practice its religion. But, still discrimination is there. So what is the motivation, what has happened, why then has it gone through? And scientific research has indicated that it was not a rejection of Muslim community of Switzerland, where there are many Muslims in those cities and regions of Switzerland the ban was not accepted, and where there are no Muslims, and when is not acquainted to them, the ban has been accepted. Furthermore, that is very interesting, 67% of those voting in favour of the ban say, at the same time, practicing Islam is perfectly compatible with the Swiss way of life. So it is not against the Swiss Muslim community, it is, rather, a reaction against an abstract yet negative image Islam, which is perceived to be violent, to oppress women, to want to spread Sharia law. And this is an image of Islam which is conditioned by the media coverage. As we see in Switzerland, like elsewhere in Europe, and also America, there is, comparatively speaking, a negative bias which is about…when it comes to coverage of religious affairs, Islam is more negatively portrayed than other religions. So what are we doing now? First, we have to increase the seeking together with the Swiss Muslim communities and the Federal authorities, ways and means to enhance the visibility of the Swiss Muslim community, so that there is a clear understanding of who they are, and how they are well integrated in the Swiss society. A second point is the media, since we know that the image is, mainly or to certain part, conditioned by the media. And the third is on the international level, a dialogue through practice, which goes beyond mere cognitive dialogue through practice so that we can create a common narrative on which we can build upon to condition the views we have of each other.” 8. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: I represent the Assembly with 47 Member States. Amongst these

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countries there are a few where the predominant religion is Islam, including my country, Turkey; in others, it is the religion of the majority of immigrants or of citizens with an immigrant background, who represent a growing proportion of the population. Christianity, Judaism and Islam have coexisted in Europe for many centuries. They share the same historic and cultural roots and recognize the same fundamental values. The basis of our work is the European Convention on Human Rights. Its Article 9 guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right to manifest one’s religion or belief, and Article 10 of the Convention enshrines freedom of expression, including the right to express religious or philosophical views or oppose and criticize them. Despite the unique legal protection that the Convention and the European Court of Human Rights provide, the reality in our countries is far more complicated. Racism, xenophobia and all sorts of manifestations of intolerance against people of different religious beliefs are a fact of everyday life in our societies. These manifestations can be flagrant or subtle, but the result is the same: discrimination, social alienation and exclusion, tension between communities and fomentation of political extremism. Unfortunately, Islamophobia in recent years has been steadily on the rise. It has grown along the massive arrival and settlement of immigrants and asylum seekers of Muslim faith in many European countries; and it has been exacerbated by recent terrorist acts by extremist people. Growing anti-Muslim feelings amongst the non-Muslim population go hand in hand with growing feelings of victimization, frustration and alienation by Muslims. Islamophobia is mostly the result of ignorance, misperception and lack of communication and dialogue. Yes, it is true that there might be some extremists in societies who try to Roundtable on Islamophobia

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exploit or even abuse Islam just to promote their political agenda. They might perfectly be in certain practices incompatible with the values we uphold. These are all true. Yet, relying on these extreme examples or invoking them as a source to justify the negative approach towards Islam and Muslim people is also wrong and unacceptable. Such an approach, first and foremost, does constitute a total disrespect towards innocent believers. It not only attempts to ignore the right to belief of innocent people, but also carries a huge threat towards peaceful co-existence and harmony in societies by feeding intolerance and all kinds of prejudices on the one hand; the feeling of insecurity, exclusion and discrimination on the other. To me, it is all the more dangerous and should never be allowed to gain ground. For the Parliamentary Assembly, in combating Islamophobia, as well as in any other form of intolerance based on religious principle, the key to success lies in the active and constructive cooperation within societies. On the one hand, our European governments have a duty to ensure equal rights and opportunities – both in law and in practice – for all, regardless of their ethnic, cultural and religious origin. They have to address the root causes, which create a fertile ground for extremism, such as poverty, discrimination and social exclusion. They should grant non-discriminatory access to employment, education, vocational training, housing and public services. Governments have to encourage immigrants and citizens of immigrant descent to participate in public life, to vote and be elected, in order to play an active role in public and political life, both at local and national level. A huge work remains to be done in eliminating stereotypes, from schoolbooks, the media and the public discourse. Last but not least, when enforcing anti-terrorist measures, governments should ensure their strictest compliance with human rights and the rule of law. On the other hand, Muslims and Muslim communities should be the first ones to condemn and combat any form of political extremism

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under the cover of Islam. Muslim organizations also can do invaluable work in transmitting core European values within Muslim communities and highlighting their compatibility with Islam as a religion. Because of its Statute, geographical remit and experience, the Council of Europe serves as the pan-European forum for discussing common strategies with regard to Islamophobia and any other political extremism in Europe. In this respect, I would like to inform you that during the upcoming session, in June , the Parliamentary Assembly will be debating a major report on “Islam and Islamophoia in Europe”. At this point, President Sampaio mentioned that the Report that was mentioned by Mr.Çavuşoğlu had been circulated as a supporting document of the Roundtable. Mr. Çavuşoğlu thanked him for recalling this important aspect and added that “The Report was actually debated at the Committee Meeting in Istanbul, and it was adopted, but still amendments can be moved and the Parliamentary Assembly will debate the whole package later on.” 9. Ms. Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies: “I am going to, very briefly, go through some of our highlights on studies we have done at Gallup Center for Muslim Studies on perception of Islam and Muslims, and then, I just want to give few points on why it is in the self interest of non-Muslim majority societies to combat Islamophobia. I think that there has to be a very coherent case made for why outside of the intrinsic value of tolerance, it is in the self interest of societies who are predominantly non-Muslim to combat this problem. First, in the United States, Islam and Muslims are the most negatively viewed religious group of the ones that we tested. We looked at Christians, Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Jews and Buddhists, as well as Muslims. By a significant margin, about 43% of Americans say that they have at least some prejudice against Muslims, 9% say they have a great deal of prejudice. Now we looked at the drivers of this extreme prejudice, what kinds of factors correlate with this extreme prejudice. I think a very important finding was that the strongest factor that predicted extreme prejudice was not level of education, was not religious practice, was not age or anything else. It was that person’s opinion of Jews, anti-Semitic sentiment was the strongest predictor of anti-Muslim sentiments. I think it is very important point that there is an empirical link, not just an intuitive link, but an empirical link between Islamophobia and antiSemitism. So the two things, I believe, should be dealt with together and even should be studied together. The second finding that is quiet important to keep in mind is that one’s opinion of Islam, as a faith, was far more powerful in predicting whether people had prejudice or tolerance than was one’s personal interaction with Muslims, meaning having a friend was not often powerful enough to push someone to tolerance. It could help you medicate extreme prejudice, but a more powerful variable was a positive view of Islam, as a faith, not simply having a Muslim friend. What this suggests is that it really forms people’s opinion of Muslims as group, is not they are friends and who they know, but rather their perception of Islam as a faith…what it teaches, what it stands for that colors their view of the group much more than the exceptional Muslim doctor or dentist that they might know who is acceptable. So those are the most striking highlights and I think there are many more findings that you can find in this report on www.muslimwestfact.com. But I want to make a case and I think it is very important to end this with a case for why western societies, western democracies, specifically, should care about Islamophobia. First, it is an ideology, which fuels the extremist narrative. It should be seen as a threat to national security, just as much as ideologies that are anti-Western and fuel extremism

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from an anti-Western point of view. Anti-Muslim sentiment, narratives and language is taking and also fuels extremist narratives. So, a) it hurts the ability to counter extremist narratives. b)any kind of racism or bias impairs objective assessment of a situation leading to decision based on bias, and then actions that can make situation worse, specifically, if those actions are made by law enforcement. One of the most powerful tools of national security is partnerships between law enforcement and local communities. These are made infinitely more difficult when law enforcement, on a very local level, are acting based on a prejudice. It is harder for people calling Muslims to tolerance towards westerners, to be hurt by their own Muslim counterparts, when Islamophobia is rampant. There is a connection with anti-Semitism, which is another problem. There is lower human capital utilization in any given society when people are alienated. There are increased problems of mental health, problems in schools and in communities. There are documented cases of depression among Arab youth in Detroit schools, increased levels of bullying, putting a strain on educational systems, and the list goes on and on. The point, at the end, is that Islamophobia is not something western societies need to combat simply to be generous or to be charitable to Muslims. It is something that is hurting everyone; it truly is hurting society as a whole.” The Moderator, while introducing the next speaker, said: “…Very few might be informed that we are welcoming new members into the Group of Friends of the Alliance, and the newest member which we welcome, very warmly, is the United States, which happens to be the hundred member, just by coincidence.” 10. Mr.Rashad Hussain, US Special Envoy to the OIC: “I just wanted to speak briefly about what the United States is doing to combat this problem, Islamophobia, from the actions taken within the Roundtable on Islamophobia

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United States and within the international community. First, of course, has been the President’s outreach on this issue, which has been mentioned in the Panel, and making it clear that Islam is actually not a problem, but is a part of the solution, and the President did utter in a number of ways. First of all in Cairo, when he described the many contributions that Islamic civilizations had made in the past and continue to make today.Second, he argued that Islam is actually critical in combating violent extremism. And one of the things he mentioned was verses from the Qur’an, of course, that rejects this idea that if terrorism is something that is acceptable and that, of course, an idea, as we have mentioned in the Panel, that is often used by some to argue that Islam is a violent religion. We are taking the step to make sure that it is clear that is something that is rejected by Islam and that is something that the President did after the ‘Forthood massacre’. It is something he did after 25th December for attempted bombing, and something that he did after ‘Time Square’, he just made a speech that was the point made in which he said that those who try to argue that Islam is a violent religion are just trying to divide the West and Muslims, and, so, he spoke about military service people that are actually Muslim and are contributing to Islam and to security and he spoke about other service members, as well. Of course the President mentioned the initiative, such as this one, such as the Alliance of Civilizations, in his speeches in Ankara and Cairo, and in these speeches he also talked about combating these types of feelings and these types of negative tensions by creating partnerships. So, for example, the United States has increased educational exchanges and people to people interaction, on a daily basis, is one of the things that we see can play, somewhat, of a role in combating Islamophobia, and learning, and creating scholarship about other societies, also other partnerships in the area of health and science and technology. Finally in another area that the President mentioned in his Cairo speech was the defense of the ability to practice Islam and that is something that he talked about in terms of a woman’s right to wear hijab, something that

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the United States continues to defend. So there is that legal channel, and so the second point is that in the United States there is a legal mechanism in place by which to combat Islamophobia. We have a legal approach. In our First Amendment to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights guarantees the free practice of religion. That is the free exercise clause in the Constitution that the States cannot make any law that would prevent the practice of religion whether that’s wearing hijab, whether that’s restriction on religious institutions, such as minarets, that’s prohibited by our constitution legally. There is, of course, a secular government in the United States and that is to say that we have an establishment clause, which a lot of countries model and they say we should have a secular government, but at the same time, that they are modeling secular governments, it is important to also model the free exercise part which a lot of countries have failed to do and some of them have prohibited women from wearing hijab, and they have maintained staunchly secular governments. So it’s important to maintain the free exercise part, as well. And finally we see that there is a limit on the legal action that can be taken. While we are working with the international community on a resolution to prohibit Islamophobia, and while the United States condemns and deplores actions, such as prohibitions on the hijab and we also action, such as, restrictions on religious buildings, at the same time, we see that there is some limit to the legal avenue, which we have in the First Amendment, and that’s in the First Amendment also permits free speech and we see attempts to legally restrict speech that would qualify Islamophobia as ineffective and counter productive. That can be seen, for example, through the ‘Satanic Verses’ when trying to legally stop that speech, actually made the situation worse by raising the profile. It can be seen through the example of the cartoons, when trying to stop the cartoons, actually raised the profile of the speech and it actuallyexacerbated the situation.”

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11.

Mr. Bogaç Gßldere, Turkish Focal Point to the AoC:

When you land into a situation where mutual distrust and mutual alienation dominate the atmosphere of interactions between the communities, this is, obviously an extremely unhealthy psychological situation. Now, day-to-day interactions that are dominated by such sentiments tend to pile up and their collective result is a deep frustration on both sides, resulting in mutual regression and in a youngyan sense of the word. The migrant community closes up on itself, while the host community no longer displays any welcome, to say the least. To use the Alliance’s parameters, you are in a situation where walls are erected, bridges are burnt, and spaces become areas of exclusion. Obviously, Islamophobia has its own share in contributing to this situation, but it is essential to note, also, that the Islamophobia that we see is mostly a result of a benign ignorance, to a certain extent, and this is what you get when prominent personalities, such as those around this table or our Prime Minister, try to explain what Islam is actually all about. But, the day is won over by some grotesque international incident and this brings us to the role of the media. I will not dwell upon this at length, because previous speakers have touched upon it already, but there is no doubt that the manner in which the media portrays the situation leads to an image and public opinion that is much worse than it actually is, which also makes me think about the importance of Rapid Media Response Mechanism that is being launched under the Alliance of Civilizations. Now, another important tool that we need to draw upon, maybe, is that a massive segment of the society is opposed to Islamophobia, at least as a concept. There are so many initiatives that are launched at the local level by both official and non-official circles. Good use should be made of these initiatives in order to increase awareness about Islamophobia and other similar prejudices and rather unpleasant attitudes. One last point, one more important element that should be looked into

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is increasing interaction between communities. As a Consul General, I encouraged this intensively and I invaluably got positive results on each and every occasion. This is a further testament that the Islamophobia that is being talked about truly stems, at least, for a good deal of the population from benign ignorance. The more they get to learn and the more they get prima facie experience, this thing fades away. So, in conclusion, I would recommend, from my personal experience, increased focus on media coverage, also dwell upon school curricula, and encourage greater interaction at the grassroots level, if we are to try to combat Islamophobia effectively.� 12. Mr. Usen Suleimenov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE: “Allow me to name several facts about Kazakhstan, which, I hope, will be a valuable contribution to what we have gathered here for. Kazakhstan is a young independent country: it is only 19, 5 years old. Since its independence, the Government of Kazakhstan began addressing Islamophobia and other phobias by facilitating peace and concord among 136 nationalities residing in my country and representing 46 confessions. In 1995 the Government of Kazakhstan set up a unique Advisory Body under the President of Kazakhstan named the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan, which among others advises the Parliament on the draft laws and the President on his policy in the sphere of promotion of tolerance, non-discrimination, and respect between different cultures and religions in my country. In 2003, 2006, and 2009 on the initiative of the Head of State in Kazakhstan were held three Congresses of the Leaders of the World`s Traditional Religions on the sidelines of which there took place a constructive dialogue between the representatives of different Roundtable on Islamophobia

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confessions and religions from over 200 countries of the world. As a result, most of the participants stated for the creation of the United Religious Organization with structure similar to that of the UN and with headquarters in Astana. The Republic of Kazakhstan, as the Chair of the OSCE in 2010, has chosen a slogan of “Four Ts”, which stand for Trust, Transparency, Tradition, and Tolerance. It is quite evident that most part of the slogan is very much in line with the topic that we discuss at this Roundtable. The Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE has appointed 22 personal and special representatives on different issues, 3 of which are on combating intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, against Christians and anti-Semitism. Their mandates are quite in line with the OSCE strategy in the said field, which was clearly presented to you today by Mr. Marc Perrin de Brichaumbaut, Secretary General of the OSCE. Moreover, Kazakhstan Chairmanship in the OSCE has chosen the topic of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination as one of its main priorities, for which reason Astana will host the OSCE High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination on 2930- June this year. We invite all of you to attend the Conference, where Kazakhstan will share with you with its successful experience in keeping and promoting peace and concord among different ethnicities and confessions. In conclusion, allow me assure you all that Kazakhstan will continue these endeavors also in its new capacity – as the Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Conference in 2011.” 13. Mr. Nazim Ahmad, Representative in Portugal and in Mozambique of the Aga Khan Development Network: “Making my presentation ‘Addressing Islamophobia’, I draw from my understanding of the Shia Ismaili Muslim tradition, to which I belong.

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His Highness the Aga Khan, the hereditary Imam of the time of the Shia Imami Ismaeli Muslims, has extensively referred in his views that the socalled clash of civilizations is, in reality, a clash of ignorance filled by the education vacuum that persists on not teaching enough about the others. As mentioned by His Highness in address to the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, we are often told that increased contact among cultures will, inevitably, produce clash of civilizations, particularly, between Islam and West. Such predictions could become self fulfilling prophecies if enough people believe them, but that did not and must not be the cause. The true problems we face is what I would call a clash of ignorance on both sides, one which neglects, for example, long history of respect and cooperation between Islamic and Western people and other respective civilizations. Ignorance, which can frequently lead to fear, is the root cause of many phobias, and is certainly at the heart of the so-called Islamophobia, which brings us together today. From our own daily personal encounters, as well as from TV images, and newspaper reports, we all appreciate that the main character of the contemporary war is the rapid proliferation of the cosmopolitan societies. At the international symposiums at the Évora University on this theme, where President Sampaio was present, His Highness remarked “cosmopolitan societies have not yet been met by what I would call a cosmopolitan ethic.” Elsewhere, the Aga Khan has explained that this is an ethics of respect for people of all faiths and with no faith, and indispensable requirement for peaceful coexistence in today’s globalized world, where waves of migration endurably changed for rhythms, colors and flavors of the host communities.. His Highness said that, also, cultural clash has been one major theme in human history. But soul has entered cultural cooperation. Some of the clashes, which captured the media headlines in some bits, occurred where passions of free speech confuse liberty with license. Let me quote, again, about His Highness’ remarks in Évora University: Roundtable on Islamophobia

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“This is not to say that governments should censor offensive speech. Nor does the answer lie in violent words or violent actions. But I am suggesting that freedom of expression is an incomplete value unless it is used honourably, and that the obligations of citizenship in any society should include a commitment to informed and responsible expression.” Addressing this clash of ignorance, it requires a major education undertaken, as mentioned by His Highness again in Évora: “For too long, some or our schools have taught too many subjects as subsets of dogmatic commitments. An important goal of quality education is to equip each generation to participate effectively in what has been called ‘the great conversation of our times.’ This means, on the one hand, being unafraid of controversy. But it also means being sensitive to the values and outlooks of others. Our system of the Aga Khan University and Aga Khan Academy are addressing such questions, as they work to advance the concept of meritocracy in developed world, and to maintain world class standard, which will stretch our student rather than patronizing them.” But the much needed renewal of the democratic promise will require other significant developments, such as strengthening of civil institutions. Those institutions which have operated on a private basis, but driven by public motivations, and, then, His Highness also mentioned “a renewal of ethical commitment, and the deepening sense of spiritual commitment, and the ethical framework that goes with it, will be a central requirement if we are to find our way through the minefields and the quick sands of modern life. To be sure, freedom of religion is a critical value in a pluralistic society. What I am calling for, in sum, is an ethical sensibility which can be shared across denominational lines and which can foster a universal moral outlook.” There are spiritual and moral ideas that Islam share with other major faith traditions. They inspire the work of the Aga Khan Development Network, which was founded and led by Aga Khan in his capacity of

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hereditary Imam of Shia Imami Muslims. We are working with the Portuguese Government; we are working with the German Government on spreading this same concept.�

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III. Concluding Remarks:

At this point, the moderator announced that “this interesting and significant session” would come to an end with concluding remarks. He invited the Secretary General of the OIC for his final comments. Professor Ihsanoglu: “Thank you Mr. Chairman. This is just a word of thanks and a note of appreciation to all organizations and institutions that contributed and co-sponsored this event, and to all scholars who have enriched this meeting. And a special word of thanks to President Sampaio and his colleagues at the Alliance of Civilizations, who have given a wonderful example of cooperation with the OIC, for the success of this meeting… convening it and the success of this meeting. Let me say that I came here with a guarded feeling of optimism, and now I think this feeling of optimism is getting stronger because I have noticed that we have developed almost parallel ideas.I think we have moved towards a common understanding vis-à-vis discrimination and intolerance against Muslims or Islamophobia in other words. And I think as we reached this consensus, we will be able to better deal with the phenomenon of Islamophobia. I really do appreciate your contributions.For those who haven’t a copy of OIC’s Observatory Report on Islamophobia, the Third Annual Report, my colleagues will provide you a copy, and we will really appreciate your contribution and your comments on this Report.” AoC High Representative, President Sampaio: “Thank you very much for this interesting debate. It was an important one, and I thank the promoters, the initial and the co-promoters afterward, upon our suggestion, and I thank them for their statements. We must face very difficult realities; problems do exist, and this was probably one of the sessions which caused more interest and, obviously,

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I was aware of the difficulty of pushing this session forward, pushing in the good sense of the word. I think that the Alliance, with due caution, but at the same time with all liberty possible, all this permits exchange the potential and real diverging views in many aspects of our societies. The problem is to maintain, really, this capacity to address difficult issues, to understand different perspectives, and try to push forward to continue to address this because all this will not be solved tomorrow. It will take, really, a very long time. So, I think that our capacity to understand the differences is, obviously, at stake, and I would very much like to insist on the role of the leadership and political leaders can have in these areas, like in many others, and I don’t think that all leaders can reflect or think that this has just disappeared after the statement, whatever the statement is produced, wherever the part of the world it is produced. I must say, as a European and a former politician of Portuguese as a European country, that we are dealing with a very strong new European problem for the last 10 years, at least. But we have to be reinforced in our commitment that relations among religions are worldwide. There are many places where there are no problems at all. This is in fact, we should not submit or forget that we are dealing with, really, a consequence of big migrations in the last 20 years in many European cities. We are always prepared, and I have been, as a former Mayor, to understand that this is not an easy issue, and we have to fight Islamophobia, extremism, we have to fight for employment, for housing all those who are dealing with these problems in their countries have a big task ahead of them, so the leadership and political institutions. But at the same time, everyone has agreed that we need initiatives at all levels. Sometimes, incidents appear at the smallest local level and they are, immediately, translated as if there were a worldwide problem, which has to be addressed in a more wide manner. For example, to give you the example I was confronted with the Danish cartoon when I started this activity, and I always refused to consider that this was a Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Danish problem. This was a problem caused by someone from Denmark, who provocatively did a cartoon, which had a tremendous importance, obviously, again, in a misguided perception that we have been dealing with. So we must separate, sometimes what we have to separate and isolate what is causing some of these misfortunes, and some of these ill perceptions. So, the Alliance will continue to, in this kind of atmosphere, which in my view is very positive one, without simplifying, I hate simplifications, this is a very complicated issue. Everyone around this table giving the possibility to have an hour will speak about engagement, will speak about phobias, will speak about everything that you want, but they are all partly true. And this is a very multiplied issue that has to be addressed in all the tools available from democratic to human rights values, to education, to scientific approaches, to history and how it started, to the practice of religions, and the understanding to all the liberties that have been mentioned here around this table. We are dealing with very solid, complex phenomenon, and I think that the way to change perceptions and to, obviously, avoid generic condemnations is absolutely essential, if we have, as we think, and I think we have to go forward. So, my dear friends, we have to work on many initiatives, and I think that the main challenge really here, after the initial remarks from my good friend Professor Ihsanoglu, is that we are confronting a global challenge to everyone of us. Whether we speak about refugees, and your intervention was extremely important to see how something can be distorted in the plight of refugees, as such, we can discuss legal rights, as the spokesman of the United States, the spokesman here, and, of course, the Swiss declaration on the constitutional procedure‌I went through that myself and, so you punished Catholics a century ago as you have mentioned. So a broad perspective, lots of patience, capacity to endure the difficulties

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of this debate, and trying to build something together on, precisely, the lack of simplicity all this brings with us at the moment when we have so many crisis, political crisis, economic crisis, financial crisis, everything that you can think of when, of course, the terrain for this to build up is, obviously there around the corner. So, really, as a permanent doubtful of all truths, as I am, I think we all have a contribution to give, and the better the contribution we give, the better result we can obtain, it is all our responsibility and the capacity we show to understand the other, to understand what Islamophobia is, and other completely difficult issues of identity, the necessity of someone or two or three persons said here, to hear also some Islamic statements on the issues that confront other cultures and the difficulties that it causes, creates this confidence building situation, which I think is absolutely necessary. The Alliance is prepared to help, but it cannot proceed without the help, the active help of its members. This is your debate, this is not my debate; it is my debate as High Representative, of course, but it is not a personal debate, it is global debate, it is a national debate, it is a local debate, it is a permanent debate, which will be, and the more leadership we show in understanding the various positions, the better we can proceed forward. I have always tried to understand the other, and the fact that we are here, thousands of people, at this moment, I think it is‌I would not have imagined in 2007 that we were having this debate here with a 120-memberhip of the Alliance. I am never happy with what I am doing, I am not happy with what everyone is doing, we can do all more, but please, stay together in this very complex time. There is no way out the world is one, and we have to live sided in search for peace, and have the modesty of all around this table to understand what are the roles with are dealing with. So I am not pretending to summarize the debate, we took very good notice of what has been said around this table.�

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Final words by the Moderator: “May I now try to bring this to a close. Just two points: one organizational, I do apologize to those panelists who felt that I was unfairly restricted in time, but the simple arithmetic would say that they are 19 speakers and 90 minutes, it comes to about 4 minutes per speaker, but I apologize if you think I was unfair. Secondly, I am not part of this debate, but if I may make one comment, and I am sorry that we do not have time to involve our audience, which is that: there was a noticeable caucus on Muslim communities in Europe, and it is understanding also in North America, but this debate was mostly about communities in Europe. It is understandable when we see what has happened in September 2001, what happened in London, Madrid, and so on. But we have to keep in mind that this threat is not only against the West. We face it in the Muslim world. It is all over the Muslim world, including my country that I come from, Pakistan, you know, and so we go back to what President Sampaio said that ‘this is a global issue’. And I would simply refer you back to High Level Group Report which focused on the animosity between “Islamic world and the Western world”, and pointed out the reasons for this, including the need in Muslim societies to come into modernity and the need in the western societies to show more tolerance and more forbearance in their activities in the Muslim lands.”

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Annexes A. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ROUNDTABLE “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion”, 27 May 2010 (Co-organized by the Alliance of Civilizations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Council of Europe and the British Council) The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations aims at improving understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and in this process it helps counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism. Although it has a global scope, its urgent task is to build bridges and promote dialogue and understanding, in particular between Western and Muslim societies. This is a top priority for action because all findings unanimously show an increasing polarization in the way Westerners and Muslims view each other. This session, co-organized by the Alliance of Civilizations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Council of Europe and the British Council, aims at holding an informed debate on how to address Islamophobia from a results-oriented perspective. Based on available data on discrimination and prejudice toward Muslim communities in various countries, it will discuss how to concert efforts in order to bring citizens of various backgrounds together to build trust and social cohesion. Documents and Papers: •

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• Concept paper on “ADDRESSING ISLAMOPHOBIA” by Ambassador Ömür Orhun (See Annex 2) • Report on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia in Europe (Committee on culture, science and education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rapporteur: Mr Mogens Jensen, Denmark, Socialist Group, May 2010 www.assembly.coe.int/ CommitteeDocs/2010/IslamIslamismandIslamophobiai • Data in Focus Report – Muslims – European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights(FRA) – 2009 http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/ attachments/EU-MIDIS_MUSLIMS_EN.pdf • Gallup Center for Muslim Studies (www.gallup.com) – various data-driven analyses on the views of Muslim populations around the world, of Europeans and of Americans • Religious perceptions in America – with an In-Depth Analysis of US Attitudes Toward Muslims and Islam, Gallup-The Coexist Foundation, 2010 http://www.muslimwestfacts.com/mwf/125315/ Religious-Perceptions-America.aspx • 2nd OIC OBSERVATORY REPORT ON ISLAMOPHOBIA (June 2008 to April 2009) – http://www.oic-oci.org/uploads/file/ Islamphobia/Islamophobia_rep_May_23_25_2009.pdf ) • “Our Shared Europe”- swapping treasures, sharing losses, celebrating futures, by Ehsan Massod - http://www.oursharedeurope. org/documents/OSE_report.pdf • “A shared past for a shared future: European Muslims and History-making” by Martin Rose Conflicts over Mosques in Europe – policy issues and trends – Stefano Allievi in collaboration with Ethnobarometer, NEF Initiative and Democracy in Europe, 2009 http://www.nefic.org/docs/publications/NEF%20RelDem%20-%20 RELIGION%20&%20MOSQUES%20-%20Final.pdf • Islam and the West: Annual Report on the State of Dialogue, January 2008 http://www.weforum.org/pdf/C100/Islam_West.pdf • Sharing diversity: national approaches to intercultural dialogue in Europe: a study prepared for the European Commission by the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts), 2008- http://www.ericarts.org Roundtable on Islamophobia

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• Muslims in the European Union – discrimination and Islamophobia” by the EUMC, 2006 http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/Manifestations_ EN.pdf) • “Confronting Islamophobia: education for tolerance and understanding” –Kofi Annan, Seminar held at the UN, December 2004 (www.un.org) • The Pew Research Center for the People &the press (www. people-press.org) • Changing Course – a new direction for US relations with the Muslim World (www.USMulsimEngagement.org), February 2009 • White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue: “Living Together as Equals in Dignity”, CoE, 2008 (www.Coe.int) • “Addressing Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: youth and education, Report of OSCE-ODHIR Roundtable, Vienna, December 2008 (www.osce.org) • “Preventing and responding to hate crimes: a resource guide for NGOs in the OSCE region, 2009 (www.osce.org) • “International Action against Racism, Xenophobia, AntiSemitism and Intolerance in the OSCE region, OSCE-ODHIR, 2004 (www.osce.org) • “Final report of the OSCE-ODHIR Roundtable on the representation of Muslims in Public Discourses”, in Warsaw, May 2006 (www.osce2006.be)

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B. “Addressing Islamophobia: Building on unused opportunities for mutual respect and inclusion“ AoC Note: reflections and proposals for action by the High Representative “One of the major tasks of our generation is to build a global community, where people of all persuasions can live together in harmony and mutual respect” Karen Armstrong, AoC Goodwill Ambassador, in Foreword to “The future of Islam”, John Esposito, 2010

Preliminary points 1. In his recent book “The future of Islam” (2010), J. Esposito rightly points out that for Americans and Europeans, understanding Islam and Muslims is both a domestic imperative (to know one’s fellow citizens and neighbours) and a foreign policy priority”. But the converse is also true: the need for more than 1.5 billion Muslims who live within some fifty-seven Muslim majority countries or who “constitute significant minorities in Europe (where some twenty million Muslims make Islam the second-largest religion) and America (whose six to eight million Muslims make it the third-largest and fastest-growing religion there)” to understand American and European societies because after all we live in one world. 2. Results from various recent surveys (namely by Gallup and the Pew Research Center) conducted in the United States, some European countries and in 10 predominantly Muslim countries point out three important data: a)

Relations between Westerners (i.e., Americans and Europeans Roundtable on Islamophobia

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at large) and Muslims have deteriorated since 2001 with a growing polarization b) The need but also the shared desire among the populations studied to improve mutual understanding of ethnic and religion differences. c) These surveys offer plenty of evidence that the foundation for that understanding is already in place. 3. Read together, these three findings should be a strong stimulus to build a new way forward instead of engaging in an unfinished disagreement about who to blame for our current difficulties of living together. 4.

Therefore the starting point to build a new way forward is:

a) assumption number one - the shared “agreement between Muslims and Westerns that relations between them are generally bad” (Pew survey 2006); b) assumption number two – the need to charter a new course for these relations; c) assumption number three – to improve relations and achieve results, a three-fold approach has to be developed aimed at breaking down the walls, building bridges and sharing spaces. Addressing Islamophobia 5. To break down the walls we need to confront Islamophobia by developing a two-fold approach: on the one hand, to dispel common misperceptions that feed prejudices (as a “preconceived opinion or bias (against or in favour of) relating to a particular group”); on the other hand, to address discrimination (as the “act of denying rights or resources to groups based on such a bias”). This is a key distinction according to the survey on “Religious perceptions in America: with an in-depth analysis of US attitudes towards Muslims and Islam”. 6.

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Islamophobia, nor has social science developed a common definition and the same applies to anti-Semitism and Christianophobia -, it is well know that this term stands for “prejudice or discrimination against Islam and Muslims” (Jensen’s Report on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia, Committee on culture, science and education, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 2010). 7. So, regardless of the controversies about this term and the fact that its etymology is confusing because “Islam-o-phobia” means fear of Islam and does not necessarily correlate with discrimination against Muslims - because after all “an individual can rightly or wrongly fear Islam or aspects of it and have no prejudice against Muslims or Islam” and, on the other hand, “discrimination against Muslims in the fields of economic, social and cultural integration might be based on a xenophobic rather than a religious motive” (Jansen) -, “Islamophobia” covers attitudes and action against Muslims based on unjust stereotypes and criticism of Muslim beliefs that can be seen as undermining fundamental rights. 8. In this sense, policy and action to combat anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and Islamophobia can be “undertaken within the broad concepts of racism and racial discrimination, which are universally accepted by Governments and international organisations.” (EUMC Report, 2006) 9. There is urgency to take action in this regard. But policy responses have to be developed and implemented mainly at the local level for two main reasons: • On the one hand, Muslims are not an undifferentiated group and we cannot conceal major differences in religious beliefs and practices resulting from Muslims’ different national, cultural and religious backgrounds. • On the other hand, the situation of Muslims in the various societies is extremely diversified namely because of differences in their Roundtable on Islamophobia

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viewpoints on the issue of Muslim integration and on attitudes towards social and moral values as well as on possible common ground. • So a first step to be taken is really to avoid stereotypical generalizations of all types that would feed the well-spread but misleading perception that the increasing divides have to do with an irreconcilable conflict between “Islam and the West”. • However, the multiplicity and diversity of situations cannot be used as an argument against the need for developing a global coordinated approach as well as a specific regional approach, for instance between groups of countries facing similar challenges, such as the European Union. Moreover, in spite of huge differences, Muslim societies share a substantive bulk of common values that can be summed up, according to available surveys, in “people’s sincere adherence to Islam” that they feel denigrated by Westerners. • This shows that further to local action aimed at addressing concrete needs and concerns at grass-roots level (for instance, action towards achieving better integration - better quality of life, school, housing, health, jobs, social interaction etc) in order to produce change on the ground and transform the network of interactions among people at different levels of societies, there is also the need to address Islamophobia as a narrative, in other words as a “deeply personal issue for Muslims, a matter of great importance to anyone concerned about upholding universal values, and a question with implications for international harmony and peace” (K. Annan, 2004). • Furthermore, in confronting Islamophobia, there is the need to address and reduce fears and concerns of all sides avoiding feeding the cycle of denial and mutual victimization that normally puts action on hold. • In order to rebuild and restore these damaged relationships we need to develop a multilayered approach and a wide coordination

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process at global, regional (namely European), national, city and local levels in order to move to a kind of “sustainable reconciliation” focused on the future and on what each side needs or desires because, according to available surveys, this provides a greater sense of commonality and less antagonism than talking about the past and who was right or wrong. From breaking down walls to building bridges and sharing spaces in confronting Islamophobia: the role of the Alliance of Civilizations • As a United Nations initiative aimed at improving understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions – in particular between Muslims and Western societies and communities - , and in the process, helping to counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism, the Alliance holds a special responsibility in confronting Islamophobia. • In times of intercultural tensions such as ours, it is crucial that the Alliance acts as an inclusive platform for dialogue and cooperation aimed at pushing to produce small changes in circumstances that in the long run can produce big shifts in behaviour. Building on the informed debate held in December 13 in Sarajevo this is the vision behind the High Representative’s suggestion to design an Action Plan to address the difficult challenge of combating racism and xenophobia, in particular rising levels of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims that many countries are facing. • To meet this aim, the Alliance made a call for proposals and ideas to its partner organizations, members of the Group of Friends, taking into consideration that its main role is to act as a catalyst for common actions. However, not that many concrete ideas have been presented so far following the call. • Indeed the co-called national plans and regional strategies for intercultural dialogue and cooperation that members of the Alliance have been encouraged to develop, in spite of their much broader scope, Roundtable on Islamophobia

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are supposed to contribute to achieve this goal. • However, this is not enough and the Alliance is moved by the sense of urgency to take extra action to break-down walls, build bridges and share spaces in order to improve relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities and societies. • In this regard, the roundtable to be held in Rio de Janeiro, within the 3rd Global Forum of the Alliance, co-organized with the Organizations of the Islamic Conference, the Council of Europe and the British Council, is to be seen as the first step in a process that hopefully will benefit from the inputs of the broad-ranging panel of participants. • In this regard, it is also important to mention a Conference organized by the Spanish Presidency of the EU under the auspices of the AoC (Cordoba, 34- May, 2010) whose relevant outcomes will also be taken into consideration for future proposals. • As a contribution to the Roundtable and future work, the Alliance presents further to a number of ideas for a possible Action Plan below, an overview of a number of recommendations put forward by different organizations and bodies in recent reports and studies. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list but only a modest contribution for further developments Ideas for an Action Plan • On the basis of various recommendations put forward during the past years by the international community as well as by foundations, think tanks and NGOs (some of them collected in the Annex appended to this Note), any effective strategy to combat Islamophobia should combine at least the following dimensions: • Education - not just about Islam, but about all religions and traditions, so that myths can be seen for what they are; education also

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about human rights and education for a culture for peace aimed to understand and respect each other, live peacefully together and live up to the best of our respective traditions. The idea of forming a coalition of countries, including Muslim countries, willing to incorporate into the school curriculum a number of similar formal and informal educational projects, teaching materials and activities to counter racism, xenophobia and intolerance could be promoted and supported. Furthermore, the ongoing projects on “The Image of the Other” and on reviewing text books to correct misrepresentations of peoples, cultures and civilizations should be scaled up and implemented with the support of the competent ministers to counter prejudices and enhance understanding. Moreover, the OSCE Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about religions and beliefs in public schools could be promoted by civil society, including by Muslim NGOS. • Media – in this regard it is crucial to prevent the media and the Internet from being used to spread hatred, while safeguarding freedom of opinion and expression. Expansion of the AoC Rapid Response Media Mechanism, of its Global Expert Finder, as well as connected activities such as training schemes for journalists should be envisaged namely by enlarging the platform of partnerships and collaboration. • Integration – integration should be emphasized as a two-way process within which immigrants and host societies have to mutually adjust. The “online community on migration and integration”, a common project between the AoC and the IOM, should be supported by an enlarged platform of partners and expanded in order to include a proactive approach such as the organization of training actions for public service workers, as well as engaging Muslim civil society bodies and communities. Promotion of extra opportunities for interaction should also be a priority. • Youth – young people should be ensured equality of opportunities, namely equal access to education, health, jobs, counselling and other social services. Minority youth, including those of Muslim background, Roundtable on Islamophobia

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should be encouraged to participate in exchange programmes both domestically and internationally, including student exchanges, study trips and visits as well as in actions to promote tolerance, acceptance and non-discrimination organized by grassroots organizations. At the local level, cities should be encouraged to develop cultural and civic activities for youth aimed at improving understanding and respect among the various communities. Creating opportunities for action involving migrant communities as a bridge and agents of change in their origin countries is also an important field of action to address in order to promote mutual understanding and dispel misconceptions. The AoC Fellowship Program, the “Dialogue Café network”, the 1st AoC Summer School, are examples of multi-stakeholders initiatives that can be expanded and replicated. • Interfaith dialogue activities as well as constructive engagement among Muslims, Christians and Jews based upon shared religious values should also be promoted. As suggested in a report “interfaith activities could take a more practical direction, building on the examples of those communities in which different peoples come together regularly in professional associations, or on the sporting field, or in other social settings. Such day-to-day contacts carry less of the artificiality of established dialogue, and can be especially useful in demystifying the “other”. • Addressing extremism, terrorism and violence carried out in the name of Islam should also be a priority because Islam should not be judged by the acts of extremists who deliberately target and kill civilians. Muslims themselves, especially, should be encouraged to speak out and show a commitment to isolate those who preach or practice violence and to make it clear that these are unacceptable distortions of Islam. • Improving efforts to address discrimination – to anyone to whom human rights matter, the fight against racism and intolerance should be a high priority. Any action aimed at scaling up efforts to address discrimination should be supported, such as for instance the

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anti-discrimination campaign launched by the Council of Europe “All different-All Equal” that could easily be expanded outside this region. • Regarding the European space, “the findings of the Open Society Institute, consistent with other research, suggest religious discrimination directed towards Muslims is widespread and has increased in the past five years. In this framework, this report puts forward two different recommendations: to address discrimination faced by Muslims in “education, housing, transport, and the provision of good and services”; to include a specific focus on challenging prejudices and stereotypes against Muslims” in the “work on challenging racism and discrimination being carried out by the EU and by members states”. Indeed these two recommendations should also be virtually applicable to any other country, including Muslim majority countries with a mixed population. • Developing city to city cooperation focused on sharing good practices related with managing cultural diversity is essential because cities are where people from a diversity of cultures mix and have to live together. On the contrary, the inability to manage such a cultural diversity makes cities potential breeding grounds for unrest, conflicts and violence, with the risk of spreading nationally, regionally and internationally. Following the session in the Rio Forum on “living together in urban societies” co-organized with UCLG and the Council of Europe, the AoC hopes to be provided with a proposal for a future agenda on city cooperation and city diplomacy. • Cultural and sports diplomacy – as recognized in several reports, the arts, entertainment media, TV series and sports can help to deepen mutual understanding and challenge stereotypes – creation of opportunities for supporting artistic cooperation and interchange through new public-private, cross-cultural partnerships should be developed by the AoC. •

Public diplomacy – public opportunities to stress the global Roundtable on Islamophobia

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importance of improving relations between Muslim and western countries are of key importance. On the other hand, it is also critically important “not to provide additional ammunition to extremists by linking the term “Islam” or key tenets of the religion of Islam with actions of extremist or terrorist groups” (Report “Changing course, a new direction for US relations with the Muslim world”, 2009).

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C. COMPILATION OF A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SUBJECT

1. Council of Europe: Committee on culture, science and education Report: Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia in Europe Rapporteur: Mr Mogens Jensen, Denmark, Socialist Group 68. For the Council of Europe, this debate should lead to the following recommendations: • Discrimination against Muslims must not be tolerated in Europe, as it violates the European Convention on Human Rights. • Freedom of religion of Muslims must be fully guaranteed, but this freedom must not be used to deny other fundamental freedoms and human rights, in particular the right to life by non-Muslims, the right to non-discrimination by women or minorities, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to freedom of religion by non-Muslims. • Muslim immigrants should be supported by member states to integrate into European society – culturally, economically and politically. • Islam should become a subject of higher education and research in Europe, in order to avoid confusion between Islam and political extremism. • Muslims in Europe should be encouraged to speak out against terrorism and violence in the name of Islam, in order to combat such abuses of Islam.

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• Inter-religious education should be supported by member states, in order to raise public awareness of the common origin and values of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and their impact on modern European humanism. • Contacts between Muslim as well as non-Muslim Europeans and Muslims in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia should be facilitated, in particular among young people, students and teachers. • Co-operation between educational and cultural institutions as well as cities around the Mediterranean Basin should be supported.

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2. MUSLIMS IN EUROPE – A REPORT ON 11 EU CITIES, BY OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTIONS (OSI) RECOMMENDATIONS The following set of recommendations is aimed at the European Union and national and local level policymakers. Whilst aware that a report on integration cannot ignore the role that ethnic minorities, and in this case Muslim communities, play in advancing social cohesion this report does not contain overt recommendations to these groups. Muslim communities across Europe are engaged in combating and correcting prejudice and negative stereotypes directed towards Muslims. A number of efforts are recognised as having had an impact and influence on bringing about some change in respective cities. However, there is a need for continued and more concerted effort. Enfranchising the disenfranchised to participate and engage requires public policies to address fundamental inequalities and address discrimination. At the same time, responsibility lies with communities to initiate actions and efforts which bring about change in policy, practice and behaviour. Recommendations to Muslim communities will be contained in the forthcoming individual city reports of the At Home in Europe project of the Open Society Institute. TO EUROPEAN UNION POLICYMAKERS 11.1 Recognise that religion is not a barrier to integration for Muslims Overall, the report reveals positive signs of integration. Both Muslim and non-Muslim respondents felt that their neighbourhoods were ones where people were willing to help and trust each other and where people of different backgrounds got on well together. Muslim and non-Muslim respondents agreed that respect for the law, equality of opportunity and freedom of expression were key values in the country where they live. Roundtable on Islamophobia

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1. The OSI data are consistent with existing research which finds that religion is an important aspect of identity for Muslims. Existing research suggests that, religion can, in fact, be an important form of social capital that supports participation and integration. The OSI research found that, in responses to questions on cohesion and belonging, levels of trust or cultural identification with the state, there was little difference between Muslims who displayed a visible religious identity and those who did not. However, prejudice and discrimination against those with a visible religious identity is significant. Prejudice against Muslims is not purely the result of prejudice towards migrants. Existing research finds that the level of prejudice against Muslims is greater than that towards immigrants. The qualitative data from the OSI research point to the persistence of discrimination and prejudice in corroding a sense of belonging amongst Muslim groups. EU Member States should respond to the study’s findings that most people are not threatened by visible displays of religion, by focusing instead on the discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping directed by a few against those who visibly display their religious identity. 11.2 Improve efforts to address discrimination The OSI research suggests that religious discrimination against Muslims remains a critical barrier to full and equal participation in society. The findings of the OSI survey, consistent with other research, suggest religious discrimination directed towards Muslims is widespread and has increased in the past five years. 2. European policymakers should encourage the adoption of principles of equal treatment to cover discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief in education, housing, transport and the provision of goods and services. These are all areas where the OSI research finds that Muslims continue to face discrimination. 3. Equality bodies should include promoting good community relations

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as part of their mandates. The Commission and Council should support European organisations such as Equinet and the Fundamental Rights Agency in championing specific race relations and anti-discrimination work. 4. Work on challenging racism and discrimination being carried out by the EU and by Member States should include a specific focus on challenging prejudice and stereotypes against Muslims. For measures to tackle prejudice and stereotypes to be effective it is important to ensure public support and commitment to the values underpinning the EU’s commitment to equality and non-discrimination. This requires developing effective and alternative instruments alongside legislation in the areas of education, media, culture, arts and sports. Levels of trust in the police are generally high amongst Muslims. The OSI research suggests that discrimination from the police remains a key concern for some Muslims, particularly amongst young Muslim men. Existing OSI research also finds that young people from minority groups are subject to ethnic profiling. 5. The European Commission (EC) and Council should provide guidelines for national data protection, setting out adequate safeguards against ethnic and religious profiling. 6. The European Commission and Council should support, (including through technical guidance and programme funding), the development of anonymous statistical data on ethnicity and law enforcement. Such data are essential to detect, monitor and address ethnic profiling practices at the national and local levels in Member States. 7. There is a need for the EC to provide financial support for pilot projects, research and dissemination of best practices for the recruitment of a more diverse police force. 11.3 Improve and reform policies on integration and minorities

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8. The Common Basic Principles (CBPs) provide an important framework for the development of integration initiatives at the national and local levels in Europe. To be effective they need to be understood, embraced and owned at the local and city levels. At the European level, action is needed to increase the profile and awareness of the CBPs amongst civil society and local policymakers. OSI supports the recommendation of EUROCITIES for the Commission to develop a consultation framework with larger cities and their associations to create sectoral dialogue in the field of integration. This is to be done under the umbrella of Territorial Dialogue between the Commission and European and national associations of local and regional authorities. 9. The CBPs define integration as a two-way process. To make integration a genuine two-way process it is important for integration polices to include and address majority communities. The OSI research identifies some of the areas where action involving the wider society is needed. For example, while half the Muslim respondents identify with the country where they live (i.e. they see themselves as Belgian, Dutch, French, etc.), they do not feel that the general population sees them in this way. A majority of non-Muslim respondents feel that people in their neighbourhoods do not share the same values. Members of the general public rather than a particular institutional or professional setting were the most frequent source of religious discrimination. This suggests that efforts are needed to ensure that the general population sees Muslims as part of mainstream society. This could be achieved through increased efforts to ensure greater knowledge and understanding amongst the general population of Europe of the contribution made by Muslims to European values, culture, society and economy. This contribution of Muslims to European society should be a natural part of the narrative of European identity. 10. Robust data are needed to provide a clear and better understanding of the experiences of Muslims in Europe. Few EU countries collect information or data on religious beliefs and identity. Some policymakers assert that race, ethnicity or migration status are more important than

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religion as an explanation of social exclusion experienced by Muslims. They may be right. However, without data on religion, it is not possible to know whether and when religion may be a significant factor in the experience of Muslims. A valuable contribution to addressing this knowledge gap is made by two EU wide surveys: the European Social Survey (ESS) and EUMIDIS. These surveys should be developed through continued financial support. Consideration should be given to include a booster sample of minority groups in the ESS. EUMIDIS should extend its research to the UK and other countries in Europe currently not covered, but which have a significant or growing Muslim population. Eurobarometer should consider including a question in its survey on religion, perceptions, and attitudes towards Muslims and other minority groups. 11. The OSI research reveals many good examples of the efforts of those working in the public services across Europe to respond to society’s growing ethnic and religious diversity. Much training was developed at a time when there was less acknowledgement and recognition of such diversity. The Integration Fund should prioritise funding in supporting initiatives for improved diversity training for public sector workers, including police and teachers. 12. The Council of Europe and other organisations should continue and expand research efforts, focusing on the impact of media coverage on Muslims, and its effects on social cohesion at the local level. 11.4 Address diversity and discrimination in the workplace Evidence from the OSI research confirms the central role of labour market participation to integration and inclusion. Amongst Muslim Roundtable on Islamophobia

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respondents, higher levels of employment, (particularly full-time employment) correlate with cultural identification with the country. The workplace is also the space where Muslims are most likely to have meaningful contact with people from a different ethnic and religious group. 13. Levels of participation in the labour market for Muslims are lower than those of the general population. Labour market participation for Muslim women is particularly low. While some of this is due to religious discrimination other factors are relevant. Greater understanding is needed of the barriers that Muslims, and in particular Muslim women, face in accessing the labour market. At the same time, the OSI research has found examples of initiatives working effectively to address some of these challenges. This includes initiatives that work with Muslim community organisations and civil society in ensuring that advice and information reaches those furthest from the labour market. There are also projects which recognise the need to employ individuals whose ethnic and cultural background reflect and connect to those who employment initiatives are seeking to reach. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities should compile and share examples of good practice used by European cities to increasing diversity in the workplace. 14. Muslims face higher unemployment and lower employment rates compared to the general population. Some of this disadvantage can be explained by human capital but other factors include a lack of social networks, knowledge and understanding of the labour market and language fluency. There is also evidence to suggest that some Muslims face both an ethnic and religious penalty. Discrimination on the grounds of religion is a particularly a concern for women who wear the veil and the headscarf. The EU is encouraged to support Member States to establish or maintain city based bodies which monitor and evaluate access to the labour market with a view to increasing Muslim and ethnicminority economic integration. The bodies should monitor recruitment

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procedures, the diversity of employees in public services and private enterprises as well as the procedures for the award of public-service contracts. 11.5 Make education more accessible and responsive to a diverse student body Schools are amongst the first public institutions confronted with the changing demographics in Europe’s cities. Many good practices are emerging from the OSI research in the field of education at the local level. The EU should work on developing a forum among cities on the following areas: 15. Data collection. Robust data are needed for the development of evidencebased education policies. The OSI research suggests that at the local level, cities are considering different ways in which to collect data which gives a useful picture of the experiences of pupils from different minority groups. For example, in Antwerp the collection of information on languages spoken at home has been adapted to take into account the experiences of the second generation. In Leicester, the city is developing systems for a more accurate and comprehensive system of data collection. The European Commission and Council should support, (including through technical guidance) research and the sharing of best practice in the development of appropriate statistical data on ethnicity and religion in education 16. Education approaches incorporating cultural heritage. There are many good examples emerging from the OSI research of schools where the cultural heritage of pupils and their families is used to support and encourage their education and learning. This includes the “Rucksackprojekt” in Berlin, the development of an initiative called CREAM (Curriculum Reflecting the Experiences of African Caribbean and Muslim Pupils) in Leicester, and the use of students’ bi-lingual heritage as a positive asset in Amsterdam and Marseille. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture should Roundtable on Islamophobia

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explore ways in which schools across Europe can share good models which have effectively utilised the cultural heritage of pupils and have harnessed it into improved learning. A number of international and national organisations have existing projects which contain educational components offering effective support for teachers and policymakers. 17. Low aspirations and discrimination from teachers emerged as an important issue in several cities: there were examples of teachers ridiculing Islam and insensitivity about pupil’s religious obligations. For many educational staff, teaching an increasingly culturally and religiously diverse student population is a challenge for which training and support is needed. This is recognised by the EU, where the Comenius Programme aims to promote intercultural understanding. The programme should include (amongst its priorities) support for teachers in acquiring a greater understanding of the cultural heritage and background of different faith groups, including Muslims. There are many innovative and timely projects run by organisations and civil society which could provide much needed resources to support teachers and students.431 TO NATIONAL AND LOCAL POLICYMAKERS 11.6 Increase awareness of discrimination 18. Muslims continue to experience racial and religious discrimination. National governments should initiate and support campaigns that raise awareness about anti-discrimination laws. Where necessary they should also ensure legislation covers discrimination in education, housing, policing and access to goods and services. Awareness-raising must be accompanied by support (including access to legal advice) for those seeking redress against religious discrimination. 11.7 Recognise the benefits and challenges of ethnically mixed neighbourhoods

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19. OSI research finds that neighbourhoods with a good mix of people from different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds are vibrant and dynamic areas. Both Muslims and non-Muslims enjoy living in and are proud of their mixed neighbourhoods. The majority of people feel that their neighbourhood is one where people are willing to help each other, trust each other and where people from different backgrounds get on well together. But challenges remain. While the OSI research finds that the majority of respondents feel that their neighbours are likely to help each others, they did not feel that people would work together to improve the neighbourhood. The majority of respondents did not feel that people in their neighbourhood shared the same values. This suggests a need for a stronger focus on a shared local identity and policies (including urban regeneration) to encourage collective investment and upkeep of local neighbourhoods. 11.8 Recognising Muslim civil-society bodies as legitimate participants in community consultation and engagement 20. The OSI research finds recognition from local policymakers of Muslim community organisations to be a crucial part of the social fabric in their local areas. Where city and district officials have worked with Muslim community and civil society organisations, there has been greater confidence and an increased sense of integration in the city. It highlights examples of local policymakers and Muslim civil society working together in a broad range of areas including employment, health and policing. Muslim civil society bodies are able to support access to parts of the community that public bodies may otherwise find hard to reach, and provide advice and information that ensures the effective and efficient delivery of services which takes the needs of local communities into account. Engagement with Muslim civil society must occur while acknowledging the full diversity of Muslim communities and recognising that no single body or organisation can reflect that diversity. 11.9 Consider reform to definitions of nationality and voting rights for Roundtable on Islamophobia

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non-citizens 21. Naturalisation should be seen as the goal of settlement (as it is in the USA, Canada and Australia). Where necessary there should be a reform of nationality laws to ensure access to nationality for those who are long-term settled migrants and to those born in the country. At the same time, dual citizenship should be permitted 22. The OSI research finds that local-level policymakers are concerned about the democratic legitimacy of actions taken by city authorities in areas where a significant proportion of long-term settled populations are disenfranchised. This can be addressed by extending the right to vote in local elections to all those who are long-term settled residents in a city. 23. The OSI research points to some encouraging trends, as well as persistent challenges to ensuring political and civic participation. Trust in local institutions is higher than that in national institutions amongst Muslim respondents; however, the perception that they can influence decisions affecting their city is lower amongst Muslim voters than amongst non-Muslims. This suggests a need by city officials to engage in creating mechanisms which can create greater political inclusion, feedback and empowerment. 24. Many non-EU Muslim respondents in the OSI research remain disenfranchised. This is particularly the case with respondents in Germany and France, where they do not have the right to vote in local elections even though many are long-term residents. Political participation can be considered a necessary condition for integration. Recognising this, the City Hall of Paris set up the Citizenship Council of non-European Parisians (Conseil de la CitoyennetĂŠ des Parisiens Non Communautaires, CCPNC) in 2001. This is an advisory committee which reflects the diversity of non-EU nationals in different Parisian districts and offers input into key areas of everyday concern such as housing, culture and education, and quality of life in the district. In the absence of voting rights, local governments should create similar

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or other mechanisms which allow for the voices and views of thirdcountry nationals to be a key tool for better integration. 11.10 Promote opportunities for interaction 25. There is evidence that increased interaction between varied ethnic and religious groups can lead to a reduction in prejudice and offer opportunities to decrease segregation. Across the cities examined by OSI, research indicates that there is a great desire by Muslim and nonMuslim groups for opportunities and spaces to be created for people of different backgrounds to interact. Muslims in the OSI research did not want to live “parallel” or “segregated” lives. They appreciated living in ethnically mixed neighbourhoods and were concerned about the impact of the “native” population leaving their area. Thus, while the research finds significant levels of interaction between people of different backgrounds in the city and neighbourhood already taking place, there remains a great desire for increased and varied contact. City and district councils can play a facilitating role by examining schools, businesses, and workplaces for opportunities to increase interaction between various ethnic and religious groups within the community. 11.11 Develop and promote inclusive civic identity 26. There is strong sense of belonging to the local area and city. For Muslims, belonging to the local area is stronger than belonging to the city, while non- Muslims felt a more intense belonging to the city compared to the local area. In Amsterdam, for both Muslim and nonMuslim respondents, a stronger sense of belonging to the local area was supplemented by an even stronger sense of belonging to the city. This suggests that the Amsterdam Municipality’s campaigns, that emphasise a common and inclusive city identity, have been effective in increasing cohesion and belonging. Stimulating debate and consultation mechanisms bringing in members of varied faith communities is another Roundtable on Islamophobia

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effective method of creating greater cohesion and ownership of the city. Leicester City Council, which supports the Leicester Council of Faiths, brings together representatives and members of different faiths from across the city. These examples have succeeded owing to the political will and leadership of the city councils in creating and funding possibilities for interaction and space for different communities residing in the cities. Municipalities are urged to seek ways to replicate the above and other interesting models outlined in this report. 12.12 Engage with communities to ensure awareness of right 27. Urban cities in Europe are providing delivery of services to a wide variety of groups and individuals. A diverse and qualified public sector is better equipped to offer culturally sensitive and effective services. At the same time, a diverse public sector can foster a greater sense of trust and confidence in its decision makers. Local policymakers and representatives from Muslim and other minority communities should work together to ensure that public sector agencies and enterprises have staff that reflect the diversity of their city.

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3. MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS: SHARING DIVERSITY WITHIN AND BETWEEN CULTURES, ERICarts, 2008 A number of areas for future action have been identified in the study: A. Recognise that intercultural dialogue depends upon the full implementation of human, civic, economic, social and cultural rights, as outlined in international and European legal instruments, into national legislative and policy frameworks. Since intercultural dialogue is not a legal category in itself, it relies on the active enforcement and monitoring of fundamental rights in practice. Specific articles of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000) are of particular importance to intercultural dialogue by promoting: equality, non-discrimination, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, freedom of expression and movement, citizenship rights to economic and political participation. This shows that in the context of intercultural dialogue, universal human rights (as individual rights) and cultural rights (recognising specific and/ or multiple cultural identities) are not incompatible and could be further developed. B. Acknowledge intercultural dialogue at the heart of citizenship and integration strategies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This would imply the recognition of equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for everyone, while at the same time advocating respect for diversity and interculturality as expressed in the <unity in diversity> concept of European citizenship. In this context, the expression of values based on different cultural and religious traditions, world views or lifestyles could become a subject for dialogue rather than a pretext for exclusion or assimilation. C. Approach intercultural dialogue as a transversal issue which is part of a complex system of governance based on diversity, equality and participation. This requires strategic efforts which bring together policy fields addressing: human rights and citizenship, integration of minorities, immigration, social affairs, employment, health, security, Roundtable on Islamophobia

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social and labour affairs, sectors such as culture, education, sport, and youth. This would also imply the introduction of mechanisms to facilitate cooperation between different levels of government â&#x20AC;&#x201C; European, national, regional/local. Designated cross-sector partnerships with civil society actors are equally important as they have been driving forces to promote ICD long before it became a political priority. At the moment, NGOs play a key role where formal ICD structures, policies or programmes are less developed. They require additional support in the form of grants for activities and/or basic infrastructure, particularly in South and Central/Eastern Europe. D. Develop strategies which recognise intercultural dialogue as a process of interactive communication within and between cultures which aims to develop a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and practices; to increase participation and the freedom and ability to make choices; to foster equality; and to enhance creative processes. In particular, such strategies could be built upon the identification of specific ICD barriers within countries such as incidents of discrimination against ÂŤvisible minoritiesÂť or specific groups (e.g. the Roma or Muslims) and could be combined with existing programmes to promote trans-border cooperation and dialogue within and beyond Europe. E. Intercultural dialogue depends upon the opening up of institutional structures. This applies to all institutions regardless of whether they are operating in specific sectors. In the field of education this would mean increased efforts to diversity teaching staff, to re-examine educational resources such as textbooks, to foster multi-perspective and multilanguage learning, avoid segregated schools which separate children on the basis of their social or cultural origin. ICD approaches in arts and heritage institutions could mean diversifying governing boards and staff as well as the content of programmes by involving artists with different cultural backgrounds and artistic visions. Institutions can create shared spaces which encourage dialogue and cross-cultural mixing and engage the public in programme development, encouraging people to become creators rather than only consumers of identity.

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F. Encourage the active participation of the media/culture industries in ICD. A three-fold strategy could be developed which addresses diversity in: staff policies and governing boards; audits and codes of conduct; and content production and coverage of intercultural and inter-faith issues reflecting European guidelines. The public is an important resource to involve in the creation of such programmes. Industry representatives and public policy makers are encouraged to work together to find creative ways to implement the UNESCO Convention on the diversity of cultural expressions. G. Integrate the development of intercultural competencies and skills as part of an overall political vision or national strategy on life-long learning. Such a strategy would involve the production of special resources such as manuals, toolkits, glossaries to assist teachers at the kindergarten, primary and secondary school levels, the introduction of intercultural modules at the university level for different professional fields, such as journalism or heritage management, and programmes to <train trainers> in intercultural literacy and mediation. H. Strengthen ICD in EU Neighbourhood policies and conduct an evidence-based evaluation of successes / failures in present and past schemes; the latter is to be developed together with specialists from neighbouring countries. There is also a need to further clarify the potential role of ICD in other development strategies and policies. I. Further expand EU cooperation with other European and international bodies. For example through initiatives to monitor ICD and cultural diversity policies in a new framework agreement of cooperation with the Council of Europe in the culture sector or through creating links between EU and UN Years or designated days which focus on issues relevant to cultural diversity, tackling racism and improving intercultural understanding. J. Establish a clear concept/definition of intercultural dialogue. This is Roundtable on Islamophobia

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especially important for the future development of European, national, regional/local policies, strategies and funding programmes to promote intercultural dialogue. It will help avoid potential misinterpretations of their objectives and make it easier to evaluate their success. K. Implement and harmonise evaluation methods for ICD programmes and activities, including quality criteria and indicators to assess their impact, taking account of the dynamics at the heart of such processes. Innovation, institutional and attitudinal change as well as sustainability are to be introduced as criteria in the evaluation of intercultural projects. L. Improve research methodologies for intercultural comparisons. Further improvements in the comparability of ICD related research and statistics are required. This could be achieved through a support programme for in-depth trans-national investigations (e.g. on the impact of different ICD policies/programmes) and through the creation of a new Eurostat working group open to independent researchers and specialists from minority communities

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4. COUNCIL OF EUROPE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; WHITE PAPER FOR INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE 5. Recommendations and policy orientations for future action: the shared responsibility of the core actors Strengthening intercultural dialogue in order to promote our common values of respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and thus fostering greater European unity, is the shared responsibility of all stakeholders. The active involvement of all in the five policy areas identified in the preceding chapter will allow everyone to benefit from our rich cultural heritage and present-day environment. Based on its conception of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, based also on its longstanding experience, the Council of Europe can formulate the following general recommendations and guidelines, and develop policy orientations for its future action. 5.1 Democratic governance of cultural diversity For cultural diversity to thrive, its democratic governance has to be developed at each level. A number of general orientations, addressed primarily to national policy-makers and other public authorities, can be proposed in this context. Intercultural dialogue needs a neutral institutional and legal framework at national and local level, guaranteeing the human rights standards of the Council of Europe and based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. There should in particular be clear legislation and policies against discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or any other status, such s, inter alia, sexual orientation in accordance with the Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case-law, or age or physical or mental disability in accordance with the explanatory Roundtable on Islamophobia

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report of Protocol No. 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. ECRI has provided guidance in respect of national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination. Relations between religion and the state should be organised in a way to ensure that everyone has equal rights and responsibilities regardless of his or her thought, conscience or religion so that, in practice, freedom of conscience and religion is fully respected. An inner coherence between the different policies that promote, or risk obstructing, intercultural dialogue should be ensured. One way to achieve this is by adopting a “joined-up” approach crossing conventional departmental boundaries in the form of an interdepartmental committee, a special ministry of integration or a unit in the office of the Prime Minister. Drawing up and implementing a “National Action Plan”, based on international human rights standards including those of the Council of Europe and reflecting the recommendations of this White Paper, can effectively contribute to the vision of an integrated society safeguarding the diversity of its members and set down objectives which can be translated into programmes and which are open to public monitoring. The Council of Europe is ready to assist the development of such National Action Plans and the evaluation of their implementation. Political leadership at the highest level is essential for success. Civil society, including minority and migrant associations, can play an important role. In order to promote integration, consultative bodies could be formed that involve representatives of the various partners concerned. National Action Plans should be inclusive of both recent migrants and long standing minority groups. The Council of Europe could commission a follow-up initiative which could involve both research and conferences, to explore the wider concept of an intercultural approach to managing cultural diversity of which intercultural dialogue is a significant component. In particular

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this work could explore the linkages/synergy between an intercultural approach to managing diversity and integration policy. This could be followed up with a series of actions across the Council of Europe area to promote the concept of an intercultural approach to managing cultural diversity including integration. Public authorities should be sensitive to the expectations of a culturally diverse population and ensure that the provision of public services respect the legitimate claims, and be able to reply to the wishes, of all groups in society. This requirement, flowing from the principles of non-discrimination and equality, is particularly important in policing, health, youth, education, culture and heritage, housing, social support, access to justice and the labour market. Involvement of representatives of persons belonging to minority and disadvantaged groups during the formulation of servicedelivery policies and the preparation of decisions on the allocation of resources, as well as recruitment of individuals from these groups to the service workforce, are important steps. Public debate has to be marked by respect for cultural diversity. Public displays of racism, xenophobia or any other form of intolerance must be rejected and condemned, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, irrespective of whether they originate with bearers of public office or in civil society. Every form of stigmatisation of persons belonging to minority and disadvantaged groups in public discourse needs to be ruled out. The media can make a positive contribution to the fight against intolerance, especially where they foster a culture of understanding between members of different ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious communities. Media professionals should reflect on the problem of intolerance in the increasingly multicultural and multi-ethnic environment of the member states and on the measures which they might take to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and respect.

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States should have robust legislation to outlaw “hate speech” and racist, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and anti-gypsy or other expressions, where this incites hatred or violence. Members of the criminal justice system should be well trained to implement and uphold such legislation. Independent national anti-discrimination bodies or similar structures should also be in place, to scrutinise the effectiveness of such legislation, conduct the relevant training and support victims of racist expression. A particular responsibility falls on the shoulders of political leaders. Their stances influence public views on intercultural issues, potentially tempering or exacerbating tensions. ECRI has addressed these dangers and their translation into practice, and formulated a number of practical measures that can be taken to counter the use of racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic political discourse. Municipal leaders can do much by the exercise of civic leadership to ensure intercommunal peace. ECRI also recommends that public financing be denied political parties that promote racism, particularly through “hate speech”. Public authorities are encouraged to take, where necessary, adequate positive action in support of the access of persons belonging to disadvantaged or underrepresented groups to positions of responsibility within professional life, associations, politics and local and regional authorities, paying due regard to required professional competences. The principle that, in certain circumstances, adequate measures to promote full and effective equality between persons belonging to national minorities and those belonging to the majority could be necessary, should be recognised by all member states, with the explicit proviso that such measures should not be considered as discrimination. The specific conditions of persons belonging to national minorities should be duly taken into account when such measures are taken The Council of Europe will act to disseminate its legal standards and guidelines in new, attractive forms to target groups such as public

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authorities and decision-makers, leaders of civil society organisations and the media, and the young generation. This will include widecirculation material on the respect of human rights in a culturally diverse society, as well as manuals on “hate speech” and on the wearing of religious symbols in public areas, providing guidance in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Steering Committee for Human Rights will pursue a range of issues concerning respect for human rights in a culturally diverse society; which may lead to the adoption of a Council of Europe policy text. It will also follow developments in the field of cultural rights. More generally, there needs to be more dialogue about intercultural dialogue, if the roles of the Council of Europe outlined in this document are to be properly fulfilled. The Council of Europe’s programme of activities offers numerous possibilities for a sustained and intensified dialogue. Examples have been set by ministerial conferences, parliamentary debates, training seminars with youth organisations and expert colloquies such as the previous “Intercultural Fora” organised by the Council of Europe, which have provided important insights – many feeding into this White Paper. Ways will be sought to organise further intercultural fora in the future. Another example is the planned conference with government experts and stakeholders from civil society, such as journalists and members of religious communities. Its aim is to tease out some of the difficult human rights issues raised in culturally diverse societies, in particular regarding freedom of speech and of religion. A new Anti- Discrimination Campaign, building upon the “All Different – All Equal” youth campaigns but targeting the wider public, addresses all forms of discrimination and racism particularly anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Gypsyism. Roundtable on Islamophobia

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In the field of cultural policies, the Council of Europe will develop its systems for sharing information on cultural policies and standards and the documentation of examples of good practice, to encourage cultural policies facilitating access and encouraging participation by all. The “Compendium on cultural policies” will continue to be updated and developed. The Council of Europe will co-operate with other European and international institutions in gathering and analysing data, and making available information on intercultural dialogue in member states. 5.2 Democratic citizenship and participation Public authorities and all social forces are encouraged to develop the necessary framework of dialogue through educational initiatives and practical arrangements involving majorities and minorities. Democracy depends on the active involvement of the individual in public affairs. Exclusion of anyone from the life of the community cannot be justified and would indeed constitute a serious obstacle to intercultural dialogue. Sustainable forms of dialogue – e.g. the consultative bodies to represent foreign residents vis-à-vis public authorities and “local integration committees” as advocated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities – can make significant contributions. No undue restriction must be placed on the exercise of human rights, including by non-citizens. Given the universal character of human rights, of which minority rights – inter alia cultural, linguistic and participatory rights– are an integral part, it is of utmost importance to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by everyone. This consideration has been particularly emphasised by the Venice Commission. Public authorities should encourage active participation in public life at local level by all those legally resident in their jurisdiction, including possibly the right to vote in local and regional elections on the basis

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of principles provided for by the Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level. Insofar as democratic citizenship is limited by the status of a national citizen, public authorities should establish arrangements for the acquisition of legal citizenship which are in line with the principles enshrined in the European Convention on Nationality. Public authorities should support effectively the work of civil-society organisations promoting participation and democratic citizenship, particularly those representing or working with youth and with persons belonging to minorities including migrants. Democratic citizenship and participation is frequently exercised through civil-society organisations. These should be enabled to play their particularly important role in culturally diverse societies, be it as service providers attending to the needs of persons belonging to a specific group, as advocates of diversity and the rights of persons belonging to minorities, or as vehicles of social integration and cohesion. In the arena of intercultural dialogue, representatives of specific minority groups and intercultural associations are critical interlocutors. The development of a national integration plan, the design and delivery of projects and programmes, and their subsequent evaluation are tasks in which such associations should be actively involved. Participation of individuals from minority backgrounds in the activities of civil-society organisations should be systematically encouraged. Local government particularly is strongly encouraged to develop initiatives to strengthen civic involvement and a culture of democratic participation. Good practice here is a municipal integration or â&#x20AC;&#x153;foreignersâ&#x20AC;? council, offering a mechanism for persons belonging to minorities and for migrants to engage with the local political leadership. The Congress Roundtable on Islamophobia

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of Local and Regional Authorities has provided detailed guidance on this. The Council of Europe is committed to Strengthening democratic citizenship and participation through many of its programmes, among them “Intercultural Cities”, a capacity-building and policydevelopment field programme. Participating cities will work towards intercultural strategies for the management of diversity as a resource. The programme will be developed in co-operation with a range of intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. Cultural diversity in urban areas will be a further priority theme. Successful cities of the future will be intercultural. They will be capable of managing and exploring the potential of their cultural diversity, to stimulate creativity and innovation and thus to generate economic prosperity, community cohesion and a better quality of life. 5.3 Learning and teaching intercultural competences The learning and teaching of intercultural competence is essential for democratic culture and social cohesion. Providing a quality education for all, aimed at inclusion, promotes active involvement and civic commitment and prevents educational disadvantage. This policy approach can be translated into a number of basic recommendations and guidelines, addressed to public authorities and institutions of formal education, but also to civil society – including minority and youth organisations – as well as the media, social and cultural partners and religious communities engaged in non-formal or informal education. Public authorities, civil-society organisations and other education providers should make the development of intercultural dialogue and inclusive education an important element at all levels. Intercultural competences should be a part of citizenship and human-

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rights education. Competent public authorities and education institutions should make full use of descriptors of key competences for intercultural communication in designing and implementing curricula and study programmes at all levels of education, including teacher training and adult education programmes. Complementary tools should be developed to encourage students to exercise independent critical faculties including to reflect critically on their own responses and attitudes to experiences of other cultures. All students should be given the opportunity to develop their plurilingual competence. Intercultural learning and practice need to be introduced in the initial and in-service training of teachers. School and familybased exchanges should be made a regular feature of the secondary curriculum. Human rights education, learning for active citizenship and intercultural dialogue can greatly benefit from a wealth of existing support material, including “Compass” and “Compasito”, two manuals on human rights education with young people and for children provided by the Council of Europe. Educational establishments and all other stakeholders engaged in educational activities are invited to ensure that the learning and teaching of history follow the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers on history teaching and focus not only on the history of one’s own country, but include learning the history of other countries and cultures, as well as how others have looked at our own society (multiperspectivity), at the same time being attentive to the respect of the fundamental values of the Council of Europe and include the dimension of human rights education. Knowledge of the past is essential to understand society as it is today and to prevent a repeat of history’s tragic events. In this respect, competent public authorities and education institutions are strongly encouraged to prepare and observe an annual “Day of Remembrance of Roundtable on Islamophobia

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the Holocaust and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity”, on a date chosen in the light of each country’s history. Such an event can draw on the Council of Europe’s project on “Teaching remembrance – Education for prevention of crimes against humanity”, which was designed to help school pupils to find out about and understand the events that darkened European and world history and to recognise the uniqueness of the Shoah as the first deliberate attempt to exterminate a people on a global scale; to raise awareness of all of the genocides and crimes against humanity that marked the 20th century; to educate pupils about how to prevent crimes against humanity; and to foster understanding, tolerance and friendship between nations, ethnic groups and religious communities, while remaining faithful to the Council of Europe’s fundamental principles. An appreciation of our diverse cultural background should include knowledge and understanding of the major world religions and nonreligious convictions and their role in society. Another important aim is to instil in young people an appreciation of the social and cultural diversity of Europe, encompassing its recent immigrant communities as well as those whose European roots extend through centuries. Appreciation of different expressions of creativity, including artefacts, symbols, texts, objects, dress and food should be incorporated into learning about one another. Music, art and dance can be powerful tools for intercultural education. Competent public authorities are also invited to take into account the effects of regulations and policies – such as visa requirements or work and residence permits for academic staff, students, artists and performers – on educational and cultural exchanges. Appropriately designed regulations and policies can greatly support intercultural dialogue. The Council of Europe itself is strongly committed to the transmission

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of intercultural competences through education. As regards formal education, the Council of Europe will develop a framework of reference describing competences for intercultural communication and intercultural literacy and will compile a “Guide to Good Practice” at all levels. The Organisation will work to make the promotion of democratic culture and intercultural dialogue a component of the European Higher Education Area after 2010. The European Resource Centre on education for democratic citizenship and intercultural education, which is being set up in Oslo, will strongly focus on transmitting intercultural competences to educators. The Council of Europe will continue to develop instruments to strengthen intercultural dialogue through approaches to history teaching based on objectivity, critical analysis and multiperspectivity, mutual respect and tolerance and the core values of the Council of Europe. It will support every effort in the educational sphere to prevent recurrence or denial of the Holocaust, genocides and other crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and massive violations of human rights and of the fundamental values to which the Council of Europe is particularly committed. The Council of Europe will also continue and consider extending the project “Teaching remembrance – Education for prevention of crimes against humanity”. As regards language policies for intercultural dialogue, the Council of Europe will provide assistance and recommendations to competent authorities in reviewing their education policies for all languages in the education system. It will also produce consultative guidelines and tools for describing common European standards of language competence. Other initiatives will be taken in the areas of art teaching and the teaching of religious and convictional facts, as part of a programme to promote intercultural education and dialogue through developing common references for the management of culturally diverse classrooms as well as support for the integration of intercultural education in educational programmes. Roundtable on Islamophobia

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In terms of non-formal and informal education, the Council of Europe will pursue its efforts to support the activities of civil-society organisations – particularly youth organisations – aimed at responding to cultural diversity in a positive and creative way. The training courses for multipliers on European citizenship and human rights education activities, conducted in the framework of the “Youth Partnership” with the European Commission, will be expanded. New opportunities for training in intercultural competences will be offered particularly to civil-society organisations, religious communities and journalists. The Council of Europe will continue its work on media literacy. These activities will be complemented by initiatives in the areas of cultural and heritage policies, aiming at broadening intercultural understanding and providing wider access to the cultural heritage which has an important role to play in intercultural dialogue. In this respect, accent will be put on knowledge and respect of cultural heritage of the other, through appropriate programmes, as a source of diversity and cultural enrichment. 5.4 Spaces for intercultural dialogue Creating spaces for intercultural dialogue is a collective task. Without appropriate, accessible and attractive spaces, intercultural dialogue will just not happen, let alone prosper. In this regard, the Council of Europe can again make a number of recommendations. Public authorities and all social actors are invited to develop intercultural dialogue in the spaces of everyday life and in the framework of the respect of fundamental freedoms. There are an unlimited number of possibilities for creating such spaces. Public authorities are responsible for organising civic life and urban space in such a way that opportunities for dialogue based on freedom

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of expression and the principles of democracy proliferate. Physical places and the built environment are a strategic element of social life. Particular attention needs to be given to the design and management of public spaces, like parks, civic squares, airports and train stations. Urban planners are encouraged to create “open towns” with sufficient public space for encounters. Such spaces, ideally constructed with an open mind – planned for a variety of uses, that is – can help generate a shared civic sense of place and an intercultural commitment. Civil-society organisations in particular, including religious communities, are invited to provide the organisational framework for intercultural and interreligious encounters. The private sector and the social partners should ensure that the cultural diversity of the workforce does not generate conflicts, but leads to creative synergies and complementarity. Journalism, promoted in a responsible manner through codes of ethics as advanced by the media industry itself and a culture-sensitive training of journalists, can help provide fora for intercultural dialogue. In order to reflect society’s diverse composition in their internal structure, media organisations are invited to adopt a voluntary policy, underpinned by appropriate training schemes, of promoting members of disadvantaged groups and under-represented minorities at all levels of production and management, paying due regard to required professional competences. The Council of Europe sees this as an important realisation of freedom of expression and as the responsibility not only of public broadcasters. All media should examine how they can promote minority voices, intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. Public authorities and non-state actors are encouraged to promote culture, the arts and heritage, which provide particularly important Roundtable on Islamophobia

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spaces for dialogue. The cultural heritage, “classical” cultural activities, “cultural routes”, contemporary art forms, popular and street culture, the culture transmitted by the media and the internet naturally cross borders and connect cultures. Art and culture create a space of expression beyond institutions, at the level of the person, and can act as mediators. Wide participation in cultural and artistic activities should be encouraged by all stakeholders. Cultural activities can play a key role in transforming a territory into a shared public space. Through the “2008 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue” organised on 8 April 2008 on an experimental basis, the Council of Europe has given representatives of religious communities and of other actors of civil society, as well as the experts present, an opportunity for an in-depth discussion of the principles governing education policy in teaching religious and convictional facts, as well as the practical details of organising such teaching. The Exchange also helped identifying, on these issues, approaches and ideas which the participants can apply in their own fields of activity, as well as a number of recommendations for the Council of Europe’s targeted activities. Any further possible follow-up action to the “2008 Exchange” will be discussed in the framework of the assessment of the exercise to be undertaken in the course of 2008. The Council of Europe will pursue flagship initiatives vis-à-vis the media. Apart from a media award for contributions to intercultural dialogue, the Organisation – following consultations with other international institutions and in cooperation with appropriate partners – intends to build up an informal, mainly web-based network of relevant professionals and organisations, dealing with the rights, responsibilities and working conditions of journalists in times of crisis. 5.5 Intercultural dialogue in international relations

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Local and regional authorities should consider engaging in cooperation with partner institutions in other parts of Europe. Action at this level is an essential component of good neighbourliness between states and therefore an excellent frame for the development of intercultural relations. Local and regional authorities can organise regular and institutionalised consultations with the territorial communities or authorities of neighbouring states on matters of common interest, jointly determine solutions, identify legal and practical obstacles to transfrontier and interterritorial co-operation and take appropriate remedial action. They can develop training, including language training, for those involved locally in such co-operation. Civil-society organisations and education providers can contribute to intercultural dialogue in Europe and internationally, for example through participation in European non-governmental structures, crossborder partnerships and exchange schemes, particularly for young people. It is the responsibility of international institutions like the Council of Europe to support civil society and education providers in this task. The media are encouraged to develop arrangements for sharing and coproducing – at the regional, national or European level – programme material which has proven its value in mobilising public opinion against intolerance and improving community relations. The Council of Europe will promote and expand co-operation with other organisations active in intercultural dialogue, including Unesco and the “Alliance of Civilizations” initiative, the OSCE, the EU and the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, as well as other regional organisations, such as the League of Arab States and its educational, cultural and scientific organisation, Alecso, representing a region with many ties to Europe and a distinct cultural tradition. The Council of Europe will also promote intercultural dialogue on the basis of its standards and values when co-operating Roundtable on Islamophobia

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in the context of specific projects with institutions such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Isesco) and the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). The regional focus of this co-operation will be the interaction between Europe and its neighbouring regions, specifically the southern shores of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Central Asia. In forthcoming months, the Council of Europe will take new initiatives to bring about a closer co-operation among these and new partners. One of the instruments is the “Faro Open Platform”, which the Council of Europe established with Unesco in 2005 to promote inter-institutional co-operation in intercultural dialogue. Other priority activities in this context include the following: • The EU has designated 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue” and the experimental “2008 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue” constitute two important Council of Europe contributions to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The Council of Europe is making specific contributions to the programme of activities and to a dynamic debate about long-term policy perspectives, also through other activities, such as, for example through the 2008 Anti-Discrimination Campaign, the “Intercultural Cities”, the publication of case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on intercultural dialogue issues and the European Resource Centre on education for democratic citizenship and intercultural education (Oslo). • The Council of Europe recognises the contribution of the “North- South Centre” and its essential role. It brings together not only governments but also parliamentarians, local and regional authorities and civil society. Its programme priorities are global education, youth, human rights, democratic governance and intercultural dialogue. The Centre adds an important dimension to the international efforts aimed

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at the promotion of intercultural learning, understanding and political dialogue within and between the different continents. • “Artists for Dialogue” is the title of a new cultural and heritage programme that will be launched in 2008 to enhance intercultural dialogue among artists and cultural actors, taking in the Mediterranean region. • The Venice Commission will continue its co-operation with constitutional courts and equivalent bodies in Africa, Asia and the Americas as well as with Arab countries. It provides a good example of intercultural dialogue based on practical action and the principles of the constitutional heritage. • The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is set to continue its work with partners in the Mediterranean region, particularly in the framework of Israel-Palestine collaboration and co-operation with Arab cities on issues such as good governance at local level and questions related to migration.

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5. OSCE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ADDRESSING INTOLERANCE AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS: YOUTH AND EDUCATION â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vienna, December 2008 Roundtable Recommendations The following provides a summary of recommendations that were put forward by roundtable participants. The recommendations were not adopted by the participants and they do not necessarily reflect the consensus of participants at the roundtable. They are directed to participating States, OSCE institutions and civil society. Recommendations for OSCE participating States 1. Ensure that minority youth, including those with Muslim background, have equal access to health, housing, employment, education, counselling and other social services, by developing effective integration policies for their access to those services; 2. Increase the quality and quantity of cultural exchange programmes between Muslims and other groups, both domestically and internationally, including student exchanges, study trips and visits to local mosques, museums and cultural centres servicing Muslim communities in host societies; 3. Review all immigration and security policies which may reinforce prejudice and stereotypes against Muslim communities and individuals, including especially ethnic, cultural and religious profiling policies; 4. Extend governmental outreach initiatives with Muslim youth to include issues beyond security and prevention of radicalization, which can reinforce stereotypes that Muslims are a security problem; 5. Provide systematic financial and political support for grassroots organizations working actively with youth to promote tolerance,

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acceptance and non-discrimination; 6. Promote empirical and analytical research on the causes and consequences of intolerance and discrimination against Muslim communities in relation to young people, in order to develop more efficient and sustainable policies to counter anti-Muslim discourse. Encourage the creation of scholarships and awards for this purpose; 7. Develop formal and informal educational projects, teaching materials, and activities to counter anti-Muslim prejudices and enhance the understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity among Muslims communities; 8. Develop educational policies, strategies and programmes to create inclusive school environments where linguistic, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity is appreciated and the needs of students with different backgrounds, including Muslims, are taken into consideration; 9. Review school curriculum and text books to correct misrepresentation of Muslims and Islam and to recognize the contributions of Muslims to civilization, in particular in the fields of literature, history, science and art; 10. Incorporate teaching about intolerance and discrimination against Muslims into the whole curriculum, including history, science, arts, literature and citizenship education; 11. Ensure that Muslim studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; right to freedom of religion and belief is respected and protected at all levels of the education system, in accordance with international human rights standards and protection of minority rights; 12. Design educational programmes and curricula in order to ensure that Muslim youth have opportunities to learn of their cultures and their mother tongues; Roundtable on Islamophobia

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13. Pay special attention to the pre-service and in-service training of all educators, including principals, teachers and consultants, on why and how to confront cultural intolerance and religious discrimination against students of Muslim background; 14. Encourage the active engagement of school authorities with students of Muslim background and their parents by establishing regular contacts with them to exchange information on the educational progress of the students; 15. Instruct schools and colleges to prevent and effectively respond to school yard harassment and name-calling of students with Muslim backgrounds, including girls with headscarves. Recommendations for ODIHR 1. Building on the success of the reference guide on Muslims in Spain, support the development of similar tools for other participating States, including France, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland; 2. Extend the experience and knowledge ODIHR gained in developing educational materials on anti-Semitism to the area of combating intolerance and discrimination against Muslims; 3. Implement the ODIHR projects on mapping of educational practices and on intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, as well as and the development of guidelines for educators on why and how to counter anti-Muslim prejudice and stereotypes, in cooperation with civil society and intergovernmental organizations, including UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations Initiative and the OIC; 4. Using Internet technology and visual materials, develop new projects more attractively designed for young people in order to sensitize them about the negative consequences of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims;

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5. Create networks for youth NGOs and education experts dealing with intolerance and discrimination against Muslims; 6. Address issues concerning the exercise of the Muslimsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; right to freedom of religion or belief through the ODIHR Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief; 7. Cooperate with Muslim NGOs to promote the Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools; 8. Conduct training and capacity building activities for NGOs addressing intolerance and discrimination against Muslims; 9. Follow up the civil society recommendations of the 2007 OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office Conference on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims; 10. Organize the next ODIHR roundtable with a special focus on gender aspects of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims; 11. Organize a follow-up youth event to bring together media professionals and youth organizations dealing with intolerance and discrimination against Muslims. Recommendations for the OSCE Chairperson-in-Officeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Personal Representative on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims 1. Make public the reports of all past country visits, including to Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States; 2. Promote the convening of a high level conference on tolerance and non- discrimination against Muslims, as follow up to the 2007 OSCE Chair-in-Office Conference on Intolerance and Discrimination against Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Muslims; 3. Encourage all participating States and OSCE institutions to intensify their efforts to counter intolerance and discrimination against Muslims. Recommendations for Civil Society 1. Become familiar with the OSCE standards, mechanisms and platforms created to increase engagement with youth in combating intolerance and discrimination, including against Muslims; 2. Create youth forums to bring together religious leaders, the media, educators, and community leaders to discuss the causes and consequences of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims and to develop strategies to counter this phenomenon; 3. Organize awareness raising campaigns, intercultural and interfaith dialogue activities and training programmes to break stereotypes and reduce prejudice against Muslims; 4. Actively engage with governmental authorities at national and local levels, in particular educational authorities, with a view to better informing them about the needs and interests of Muslim students and supporting them in developing effective educational responses to the manifestations of anti-Muslim hatred and prejudice; 5. Establish targeted capacity building programmes to provide Muslim youth with awareness of political processes, and with skills on how to lobby effectively, voice their concerns, and work with the media and educational institutions.

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6. CHANGING COURSE – A NEW DIRECTION FOR US RELATIONS WITH THE MUSLIM WORLD US-Muslim Engagement project (2009) Executive Summary If we are to have partners for peace, then we must first be partners in sympathetic recognition that all mankind possesses in common like aspirations and hungers, like ideals and appetites, like purposes and frailties, a like demand for economic advancement. The divisions between us are artificial and transient. Our common humanity is Godmade and enduring. President Dwight D. Eisenhower Address at the Centennial Commencement of Pennsylvania State University June 11, 1955 Creating partnerships for peace with Muslim countries and communities is one of the greatest challenges—and opportunities—facing the United States today. Currently, conflict, misunderstanding, and distrust plague U.S. relations with Muslims in many countries, imperiling security for all. Maintaining the status quo raises the specter of prolonged confrontation, catastrophic attacks, and a cycle of retaliation. Despite these tensions, the vast majority of Americans and Muslims around the world want peace, amicable relations, good governance, prosperity, and respect. Policies and actions—not a clash of civilizations—are at the root of our divisions. This Report outlines a comprehensive strategy for the U.S. to enhance international security by improving relations with key Muslim countries and communities. The strategy reflects the consensus of 34 American leaders, including 11 Muslim Americans, in the fields of foreign and Roundtable on Islamophobia

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defense policy, politics, business, religion, education, public opinion, psychology, philanthropy, and conflict resolution. We come from different walks of life, faiths, political perspectives, and professional disciplines. Our shared goal is to develop and work to implement a wise, widely supportable strategy to make the U.S. and the world safer by responding to the primary causes of tension between the U.S. and Muslims around the world. We believe that a strategy that builds on shared and complementary interests with Muslims in many countries is feasible, desirable, and consistent with core American values. The central message of our strategy is that the U.S. government, business, faith, education, and media leaders must work with Muslim counterparts to build a coalition that will turn the tide against extremism. Our recommendations are directed primarily to U.S. leaders and institutions, but we can succeed only if counterparts in Muslim majority countries and communities also take responsibility for addressing key challenges: reducing extremism, resolving political and sectarian conflicts, holding governments accountable, creating more vibrant economies, correcting misconceptions, and engaging in dialogue to build mutual respect and understanding. The Need for a New Approach During the past several years, it has become clear that military force may be necessary, but is not sufficient, to defeat violent extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, or to prevent attacks elsewhere. Moreover, military action has significant costs to U.S. standing in the world, and to our ability to gain the cooperation of other countries in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. Senior U.S. defense and military leaders have recognized the primary importance of diplomatic, political, economic, and cultural initiatives in combating extremism. Recently, the U.S. government has taken important steps to expand the use of diplomacy, support improvements in governance, and promote economic development in Muslim countries threatened by extremism.

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In the face of continuing extremist violence directed at the U.S. and its allies, the next U.S. President and Congress must create and implement a more comprehensive strategy for reversing extremism in key Muslim regions, countries, and communities. U.S. business, educational, philanthropic, faith, and media organizations should help define and carry out many elements of that strategy. The Drivers of Extremism Only a tiny minority of Muslims is involved in violence against the U.S. and its allies. The extremistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to recruit, operate, and inflict harm depends on a more widespread set of active and passive supporters. In many Muslim majority countries and Muslim minority communities, that support is driven by deep-seated frustration with poor governance, constraints on political activity, and lack of economic opportunity. The United States is not directly responsible for these conditions and frustrations, but many Muslims see the U.S. as complicit, believing that it has supported ineffective and corrupt governments in their countries as a way to meet U.S. geopolitical and economic interests. Their anger is compounded by their sense that the U.S. has favored Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, and has exercised a â&#x20AC;&#x153;double standardâ&#x20AC;? on democracy, calling for democratic reforms in the Muslim world while continuing to support repressive governments in allied Muslim countries. Since the invasion of Iraq, many Muslims have also come to believe that the U.S. seeks to dominate Muslim countries by force. Efforts by the U.S. government, private leaders and organizations to change these perceptions have had limited effect. A Strategy for Reversing Extremism To shrink the base of support for extremism, our strategy calls on U.S. governmental and private leaders, and their Muslim counterparts, to work together to advance four goals: resolving conflicts through diplomacy; improving governance in Muslim countries; promoting Roundtable on Islamophobia

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broad-based economic development in Muslim countries and regions; and building mutual respect and understanding. Efforts on each of these goals will be helpful, but coordinated action on all four goals, tailored to particular countries and regions, offers the greatest potential for improvements in U.S. security and U.S.Muslim relations. Following is a summary of our recommendations for advancing each of the four goals. 1. Elevate diplomacy as the primary tool for resolving key conflicts involving Muslim countries, engaging both allies and adversaries in dialogue • Engage with Iran to explore the potential for agreements that could increase regional security, while seeking Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear nonproliferation commitments • Work intensively for immediate de-escalation of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict and a viable path to a two-state solution, while ensuring the security of Israelis and Palestinians • Promote broad-based political reconciliation in Iraq, and clarify the long-term U.S. role • Renew international commitment and cooperation to halt extremists’ resurgence in Afghanistan and Pakistan • Provide top-level U.S. leadership to resolve regional conflicts and to improve coordination with international partners 2. Support efforts to improve governance and promote civic participation in Muslim countries, and advocate for principles rather than parties in their internal political contests • Build the capacity of government institutions to deliver services, and of citizens to participate in governance • Advocate consistently for nonviolence, pluralism and fairness in political contests • Use U.S. leverage with authoritarian governments to promote

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reforms in governance • Assess the value of engagement with political representatives of armed and activist movements case-by-case, based on their principles, behavior, and level of public support • Support political transitions and the consolidation of reforms in countries at critical “turning points” 3. Help catalyze job-creating growth in Muslim countries to benefit both the U.S. and Muslim countries’ economies • Support policy reforms to secure property rights, facilitate transactions and promote investments • Partner with governments, multilateral institutions and philanthropies to make education a more powerful engine of employment and entrepreneurship • Use public-private investment partnerships to reduce risk, promote exports and fund enterprises • Use trade agreements to reward economic reform and spur investment • Manage energy interdependence and diversify resources 4. Improve mutual respect and understanding between Americans and Muslims around the world • Use public diplomacy to reinforce changes in policies and actions • Dramatically expand cross-cultural education, people-to-people and interfaith exchange • Promote greater depth and accuracy in news coverage and programming • Invest in cultural diplomacy through arts and entertainment programs, to deepen mutual understanding and challenge stereotypes • Involve the Muslim-American community as a bridge A Call for Action Roundtable on Islamophobia

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Implementing this strategy will require a sustained, coordinated effort by a range of public and private institutions, including the President and Executive agencies; Members of Congress; business and investment leaders; philanthropic institutions and development agencies; and educators, faith leaders, the news media, and citizens. The next U.S. President and Administration must provide immediate and sustained leadership to improve U.S.-Muslim relations. We recommend that the next President take these steps: • Speak to the critical importance of improving relations with the global Muslim community in his 2009 inaugural address • Take key actions immediately to demonstrate a commitment to improving relations, including: i) Immediately organizing a wholeof-government effort, with Presidential leadership, to define and implement a strategy for improving relations with key Muslim countries and communities, ii) Immediately re-affirming the U.S. commitment to prohibit all forms of torture • Within the first three months of the Administration, initiate a major and sustained diplomatic effort to resolve regional conflicts and promote security cooperation in the Middle East, giving top priority to engagement with Iran and permanent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict • Within the first six months of the Administration, co-convene a business-government summit on economic reform, growth, and job creation in the Middle East to accelerate current reform and investment initiatives • Work with leaders in Congress, educational, cultural and philanthropic institutions in the U.S., and counterparts in Muslim countries, to create and fund a global initiative for teaching, learning, and exchange among citizens in the U.S. and Muslim countries It will also be important for a wide range of private actors to coordinate their activities more closely, while maintaining their separation from

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the government. To do so, we recommend that the new Administration and leading business, educational, philanthropic, faith, and media organizations co-convene forums on U.S.-Muslim relations, and create new platforms for action, making special efforts to involve MuslimAmerican leaders. What Is at Stake Immediate action is needed. Neither the U.S. nor Muslims in regions of conflict can afford a further deterioration in relations. Extremist groups and movements have gained ground in many Muslim countries. Their appeal will grow unless the U.S. acts more effectively to address the economic, political, and security concerns that extremists have exploited. Implementing our recommendations will not eliminate the risk of terrorist attacks affecting the U.S. Yet given a broad, deep, and sustained commitment, our proposed strategy will reshape U.S. relations with Muslim leaders and peoples in ways that improve U.S. and international security, transform the spiral of fear and mistrust into a foundation of mutual confidence and respect, and help create a more peaceful world.

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D. CONCEPT PAPER ON “ADDRESSING ISLAMOPHOBIA” Ömür Orhun Ambassador We all say that we attribute a crucial role to upholding, preserving and promoting human rights and human dignity for all. This is a commendable discourse, but it is not enough. We must also seize every opportunity to contribute our efforts to combating human rights violations in all its forms and manifestations. Therefore, we must address all human rights violations objectively, carefully, impartially and speedily, wherever they occur and whoever is involved. In that respect, the phenomenon of Islamophobia and intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, fueled mainly by negative propaganda from xenophobic political parties and circles, causes serious concern. Islamophobia constitutes not only a contemporary form of racism and racial discrimination, but also gives room for resurgence of physical and psychological attacks on Muslim minorities, paving the way for serious disturbance of public order, peace and international stability. There are pertinent laws and international covenants to protect and uphold human rights, but Islamophobes try to ward off and avoid the force of these norms through attacking Islam itself as a faith or as an abstract notion, thus escaping the force of legislation. The net result is that a rise in tone and frequency of the mental and physical abuses against Islam and Muslims in the West is observed, a fact that does not bode well for the future of human relations. On the other hand, aggravated by the present campaign of denigration of Muslims and Islam by right wing extremist elements in the West, Islamophobia is also regrettably feeding certain trends, for example to using derogatory expressions like “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamo-fascism”. Such provocation is permeating the psyche of large segments of the Western world and lead to adverse consequences.

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It is evident that not only the human rights mechanisms of international organizations, but also the whole international community should address this threat properly, effectively and firmly. The recent initiative of a right wing political party in Switzerland, which has led to the unfortunate and unacceptable decision to ban construction of minarets in Switzerland, is a testimony that if we allow the way free for political extremism, then public opinion may be misled by their adverse propaganda. It is encouraging to note the wide rejection of this decision by the world community; but the fact remains that this ban has now been institutionalized. Many argue that negative stereotyping or defamation of religions is a contemporary manifestation of religious hatred, discrimination and xenophobia. Such stereotyping applies not only to individuals, but also to their belief systems. It results in negative portrayal of the followers of those religions and leads to incitement to hate, discrimination, intolerance and violence against them, hence directly affecting their human rights. The international community also attaches high importance to the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It is nevertheless underlined that the exercise of this right carries with it special duties and responsibilities. International human rights law clearly prohibits advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred as an important safeguard to ensure the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. The task of improving the human rights condition in a global scale is not the duty of a single region, group or organization alone. This task befalls on the shoulders of everyone. It is a task that must be borne collectively by all nations represented under the umbrella of the United Nations. On the other hand, tackling conflicts solely from the angle of security cannot lead to lasting and comprehensive solutions. Short term Roundtable on Islamophobia

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solutions must give way to mid and long-term approaches requiring proper understanding of the root causes of the conflicts, which often lie in political grievances, backwardness, underdevelopment, lack of good governance, human rights violations and concerns related to preservation of national, ethnic, cultural and religious identities. On the other hand, it is a fact that undertaking humanitarian efforts by the international community will strengthen solidarity among nations and peoples. For that reason, the international community must meet challenges faced as a shared responsibility in addressing, ensuring, protecting and promoting human rights of everybody. Moreover, reports by European organizations on intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in the European Union clearly indicate that “many Westerners started to see themselves on a collision course with Muslims and Islam”. In the same line of thinking, well-known and high ranking officials are on record stating that, “if we lack the courage to defeat Islamic extremist ideology, we will find ourselves involved in a third world war tomorrow. The dangers inherent in this matter are greater than we can conceive”. Furthermore, it is an established fact that a person or a group can suffer real damage and profound distortion if surrounded by self-deprecating images of themselves. These utterings carry the risk of confrontation and conflict. Wise people around the world should squarely address this danger, because hate speech, if not restrained and if left to foster, can lead to violent friction. The purpose of the proposed side event on “Addressing Islamophobia” during the AoC Rio Forum will be to discuss matters related to this phenomenon, its root causes and manifestations, as well as on the ways to combat with it. May 2010

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Addressing Islamophobia: Building on Unused Opportunities for Mutual Respect and Inclusion