Rise in attacks on Muslims in Europe
Violence against Muslims in Europe is on the rise among the handful of member states that officially record such incidents.
A report published on Tuesday (18 June) by the Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) found that Finland, France, and Sweden registered an increase in attacks against Muslims between 2010 and 2011.
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Only Austria registered a decline.
Data is missing from every other member state either because they do no collect it or have not published it.
Anti-Semitic attacks during the same period dropped in France and Sweden.
The FRA report notes the trends do not reflect the prevalence of racist, xenophobic and related crimes in the member states because most incidences go unreported.
Other caveats include how member states define these crimes and the willingness of witnesses to report the incidents.
Finland recorded 14 cases of anti‑Muslim crime in 2009, 15 in 2010 and 14 in 2011.
In France, authorities attribute the increase to applying rules on how to record the incidents. The precise number of cases was not given.
The report points out that “direct comparisons between member states cannot and should not be made here, because any observed variations are a reflection of data collection practices at the national level.”
It notes member states with the highest officially recorded rates do no necessarily have the highest rates of such crimes.
UK-based NGO Tell Mama records anti-Islamic attacks. The NGO, partially funded by the UK government, has noted 632 anti-Muslim hate incidents since March 2012.
Most are women and girls ranging between the ages of five and 89.
The few reported incidents elsewhere make for sobering reading.
On Tuesday, a young pregnant Muslim woman in Paris miscarried after suffering a brutal attack by skinheads last week, reports the AFP.
Two men attacked the 21-year old woman in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. They ripped off her head scarf, cut her hair, and shouted anti-Islam slurs.