European Parliament holds session on combating Islamophobia, antisemitism
Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of promoting our European Way of Life, opened the session by highlighting the urgency of the matter.
"This is a very timely discussion," he said, noting the proximity to European Parliament elections and the rise in hate speech and crimes witnessed across Europe.
"Synagogues faced Molotov cocktails, residential buildings were marked with Star of David symbols and Jewish shops were vandalized. Similarly, mosques and homes suffered vandalism with spray-painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slurs, with attempts to attack mosques during prayer times," he said.
Schinas also said that apart from physical attacks, calls for "the destruction of the state of Israel, the killing of all Jews, the killing or deportation of Muslim immigrants, and the rape of Muslim women were made online."
"These are absolutely unacceptable," he emphasized, affirming the European Commission's commitment to addressing the issue.
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib also emphasized the importance of societal dialogue in combating racism and hatred.
Lahbib announced the upcoming European Citizens' Panel on Combating Hatred, scheduled for the first half of the year, to promote inter-citizen dialogue and cooperation in addressing these challenges.