Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Islamophobia' on the rise in Europe, report says

International Herald Tribune reported "Islamophobia" is on the rise across Europe, where many Muslims are menaced and misunderstood — some on a daily basis — the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia said Monday in a new report.

Menacing them is not proper. Understanding depends on what effort they are making to be understood, and also whether they seek to remake the country they are a guest in to the way they think the country should be (like Sharia law), or whether they are adapting themselves to the customs and norms of the country they are living in.
The Vienna-based center, which tracks ethnic and religious bias across the 25-country European Union, said Muslims routinely suffered problems ranging from physical attacks to discrimination in the job and housing markets.
When people see Muslims rioting in the street over a cartoon, I am not surprised they might not want to hire them, or have them living in their buildings.
It called on leaders to strengthen policies on integration, and on Muslims to "engage more actively in public life" to counter negative perceptions driven by terrorism or violence, such as the backlash this year caused by cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. "The key word is 'respect,'" said Beate Winkler, director of the group. "People need to feel respected and included. We need to highlight the common ground that we have."
Respect is something that is earned, and the best way to earn it, is to show it yourself.

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