Although stereotypes against Muslims are centuries old, in recent years they have evolved and gained momentum under the conditions of the "war on terror", the global economic crisis and challenges related to the management of religious and cultural diversity. Anti-Muslim rhetoric often associates Muslims with terrorism and extremism, or portrays the presence of Muslim communities as a threat to national identity. Muslims are often portrayed as a monolithic group, whose culture is incompatible with human rights and democracy. ODIHR's reporting suggests anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents increases following terrorist attacks, and on the anniversaries of such attacks. Attacks against mosques – particularly on Fridays and religious holidays – including leaving the remains of pigs outside mosques, community centres and Muslim families' homes, as well as attacks against women wearing headscarves, are among the anti-Muslim hate incidents commonly reported.
Incidents were reported on these states
Overview of incidents reported by civil society
|Attacks Against People
|Attacks Against Property
In his country visit report, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe expressed concern at rising racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic rhetoric and acts. He stressed that the existing, solid legal framework needs to be complemented by more preventive and awareness-raising measures.
In his "Report on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief," the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that extremism and radicalization, often leading to hate crimes and violence, need to be addressed. This can be done through police and security responses, community engagement, and data gathering and monitoring, among other actions.
The United Nations General Assembly (GA) adopted resolution 68/127 on combating violence and violent extremism, condemning all forms of violent extremism and underlining the importance of civil society in generating public awareness to the dangers of extreme violence. It recommends promoting community engagement in countering violent extremism.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted resolution 25/12 on freedom of religion or belief, condemning violence and acts of terrorism targeting people belonging to religious minorities and emphasizing that States should diligently prevent, investigate and punish such acts.
The United Nations General Assembly (GA) adopted resolution 68/170 on freedom of religion or belief, condemning violence based on religion or belief and reminding States of their obligation to diligently prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against people belonging to religious minorities.
In resolution 68/169 on "Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief," the United Nations General Assembly (GA) expressed concern that the number of incidents of religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence continues to rise around the world. The resolution also called for interreligious, interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national, regional and international levels.