LONDON - Agence France-Presse

AFP photo

European countries are discriminating against Muslims for demonstrating their faith, especially in the fields of education and employment, rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday.

In a report focusing on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland, Amnesty urged European governments to do more to challenge negative stereotypes and prejudices against Islam.

The report was particularly critical of countries that have brought in outright bans on face-covering veils or on the wearing of religious symbols in schools.

"Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes," said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International's expert on discrimination.

"Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf.

"Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam." The Amnesty report comes two days after the anti-immigrant National Front achieved a record score for the party in the first round of France's presidential election, with 18 percent of voters backing leader Marine Le Pen.

The report, titled "Choice and prejudice: discrimination against Muslims in Europe", says legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment has not been properly implemented in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Employers had been allowed to ban religious or cultural symbols on the grounds that they would annoy clients or colleagues, or that it conflicts with a company's corporate image or supposed neutrality, it said.

Amnesty said this was in direct conflict with European Union law.

"EU legislation prohibiting discrimination on the ground of religion or belief in the area of employment seems to be toothless across Europe, as we observe a higher rate of unemployment among Muslims," Perolini said.

This was especially true among Muslim women of foreign origin, he added.

In the last decade school pupils have been banned from wearing headscarves or other traditional religious dress in countries including Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Amnesty said.

The group also criticised Switzerland for a 2009 ban on the construction of new minarets for mosques.

It said that in Spain's Catalonia region many Muslims had to pray in outdoor areas because authorities were rejecting applications to build mosques on the grounds that they were incompatible with Catalan traditions and culture.
4/27/2012 23:18:53

this is unfair. nobody should be discriminated because of their religion or they practice what their religion is teaching them. if this is the case, then Christians will possibly be banned in Muslim countries like the Middle East, where our Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs), who are mostly Christians, are working. That`s too bad. Problems like this might affect the relationship between countries. Those countries mentioned above should do something to prevent it. They should observe the Muslims` human rights, like any of us.

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Prince
4/27/2012 23:30:32

This is really Unfiar Why In Every Country Muslims are not getting their rights. Where is Human RIghts Now? Is human rights not apply on Muslims? every country governament must take some important steps to gave muslims their rights.

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Dhenz
4/27/2012 23:46:26

It is so unfair for those countries to treat Muslims in that unhuman way.Why are they making the difference in religion a big deal.As humans,we have our own right to choose any religion that we think is right!..

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Adnan Ahmed Qureshi
4/28/2012 00:01:38

This is so bad! Muslims in non-Muslim countries face prejudice and inconvenience. On the other hand, non-Muslims in Muslim countries face institutionalized persecution and endangerment of life.Must Need to change our self.

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Manosi Roy
4/28/2012 00:07:58

Discrimination is very painful for all man or nation. I think, we should take step against discrimination from our own. If a nation depend on there government for remove discrimination, they will go in vane. Moral philosophers have defined discrimination as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. He or she just needs to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason. If someone decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, he or she will be acting in a discriminatory way even if he or she actually benefits the people he discriminates against by donating some money to them. So we should just change our mentality.

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shaista
4/28/2012 05:29:03

it's a very bad thing for Islam but Islam is truth whether anyone agree or not doesn't matter but Muslims face various problems in non Muslim countries.
nice blog

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Tuzar Ahmed
4/28/2012 06:41:05

We the muslims are really facing discrimination in the european countries. Beards associated with Islam, headscarves or veils do not harm or disturb other people. It is up to the choice of the muslim whether he/ she will maintain this. Other people should not prohibit one to follow his/her religion. Rather everyone should help others to follow and maintain/ do their prayers. Specially in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain our brothers and sisters are facing problems in the field of not only education employment but also they are being harassed socially. Mare legislation can’t stop the muslims from being discriminated rather it will need to develop the mentality of the people of the related countries. We are muslim and we have rights to live with equally facilities like other nations or religion.

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4/28/2012 13:45:09

we people in this world are entitle to choose our own way of living from what we wear what we eat an what religion we should follow. way of living. i wonder why there are still people who is so judgmental and honestly i hate that kind of attitude, we have only one god we should love one another an treat each and everyone as sister an brother the fact that we have different belief but still we are one. therefore whether were Filipinos, Americans or Muslims we have different choices and nobody has the right to judge anybody.i still remember then when i was in high school i have a lot of Muslim friends which is very close to me some of people are discriminating them...its very painful for me. because i love them. STOP DISCRIMINATION!!!PLEASE

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myra
4/29/2012 17:12:55

We Have to respect the beliefs of any human kind. where ever we go or we live. i know, some of my friend Islam say that they cannot go to Europe for work because of discrimination most especially in using school uniform every school had their own rules and regulation most especially in uniform.They talked the director of the school if they agree to used their dress and scarp but School refused. My friend said"I cannot blame them because in Saudi Arabia has a strict law they don't want the girl wear their own clothes even though they are Christian or whatever .
Speaking of Churches and Mosques If Islam country make agree to build a churches to their place and also respect the right of other like the way they act to a girl to any foreign maybe no discrimination. but always have a discrimination not only in Muslim to every other people who is strangers to the place.

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