British imam highlights increase in Islamophobia

Fear and suspicion of Muslims has increased in the European Union countries since the September 11 attacks and the problem deserves as much attention as anti-semitism, British imam Abduljalil Sajid told an international conference on racial and religious intolerance yesterday.

“Islamophobia has replaced anti-semitism as the new sharp end of racist issues in the world wherever you go”, Mr Sajid told the conference organised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. According to EU findings, “hatred against Muslims increased tremendously” after the September 11 attacks, Mr Sajid said.

The imam criticised the conference’s draft final statement for not explicitly using the term Islamophobia, adding that Europe has to face the reality that millions of its people are now Muslims. Despite this, EU countries have no established system to monitor or record crimes against Muslims, he said.

Morning Star, 10 June 2005

See also Islam Online, 10 June 2005