Europe discriminates Muslims: Amnesty International Report

Muslims in Europe face discrimination in education, employment and religious freedom, an Amnesty International report said.

The report, titled “Choice and Prejudice: Discrimination Against Muslims in Europe” issued on Monday, details the problem, with a focus on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

Amnesty International raised the issue, as it has done before, of restrictions “on the establishment of places of worship and prohibitions on full-face veils.”

The report said employers have been permitted “to discriminate on the grounds that religious or cultural symbols will jar with clients or colleagues or that a clash exists with a company’s corporate image or its ‘neutrality.’

“Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief — and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.

There is legislation prohibiting employment discrimination in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, but “it has not been appropriately implemented,” the report says.

European Union 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, and especially Muslim women of foreign origin,” Perolini said.