Representatives from 10 European countries and EU officials have urged law enforcement agencies to “spare no effort” to protect Muslims, amid hate crimes against them, The Guardian reported.
In a statement, they highlighted the increased number of hate crimes against Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe in recent months.
The statement, which was issued at a time when the bloc was dealing with a rise in Islamophobia, added that both communities “have become targets of physical and verbal attacks”, with people feeling “more and more unsafe and threatened, online and offline”.
While highlighting Islamophobia, the EU members said they were “deeply concerned” for Muslims. “Such phenomena, if not addressed, can threaten social cohesion within our societies and can expose vulnerable communities to further harms,” it said.
They called on national authorities to ensure the safety of Muslims in places of worship, workplaces, schools, and their homes. They further called on public safety and law enforcement agencies to “remain alert to incidents of hate crimes and hate-motivated violence against Muslims”.
In the recent past, the Muslim communities have raised concerns over the rising hostilities. Attacks on Muslims have also been reported in the United Kingdom. At least 42 letters containing threats or insults were received by the French Muslim Council in October, according to the council.
German politician of Kurdish-Syrian background Jian Omar said he felt vulnerable after being hit by a man wielding a hammer. He suffered hate-filled flyers mixed with glass and faeces.
Both cases were under investigation, but police said they were unable to increase security, as per Reuters.
The EU statement does not mention the conflict in the Middle East, however, it refers to the “current geopolitical context”.
Brussels-based analyst Shada Islam described the statement as a “small but much-needed step” towards fighting racism across Europe.
Earlier, the NGO Human Rights Watch pointed to the “deep concern” over rising antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe.