Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Committee to examine Islamophobia in West

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 28.04.2016 23:29
Updated 28.04.2016 23:31
Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Committee to examine Islamophobia in West

With rising Islamophobia throughout the West, especially in the European Union, a subcommittee, Reviewing Hostility to Islam in Western Countries, established under Parliament's Human Rights Committee, held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to examine Islamophobia starting in Germany where a large number of Turkish-origin people live. During the meeting, the subcommittee's chairman and Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Sakarya Deputy Ali İhsan Yavuz said that the issue of hostility toward Islam is a serious matter and that they aim to compile a comprehensive report on it. He said that xenophobia and Islamophobia exist throughout Western countries and the subcommittee had finalized its roadmap at the meeting.

The committee will compile a comprehensive report and seek cooperation from the Foreign Ministry, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) and other relevant organizations and institutions including civil society groups. Also speaking at the meeting, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) committee member Deputy Ruhi Ersoy said: "As the work compiled by DİB can be beneficial, our research can in fact begin with listening to representatives from the relevant unit at DİB." AK Party Deputy Orhan Atalay said that as there is enough academic and field research on the matter, the committee's first step must include establishing a road map to take the committee's research further.

Across Europe there has been a shift toward far-right parties, which have been gaining popularity due to the refugee influx. Recent polls have found a rise in support for far-right parties in Austria, Poland, France and Switzerland, and xenophobic comments by political figures have become more visible, including the leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party who said border guards should shoot at migrants if they try to enter illegally. A recently published report by the Cordoba Foundation suggests that there has been a cynical switch in extremist groups' targets for hate, claiming: "Traditional far-right movements have often emphasized anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; more recently, they have focused [on] anti-Muslim narratives."

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