Belgium: Increasing Islamophobia

Belgium: Increasing Islamophobia

Jozef De Witte, director of the Center for equal opportunities and opposition to racism (CGKR), warns of growing Islamophobia: "There is a shift from a hate-discourse against foreigners in general, to a hate-discourse against Muslims or supposed Muslims.  The basis for that discourse remains racist."

In its 2008 annual report, the CGKR says that most discrimination reports that 22% of discrimination complaints are from those who feel discriminated looking for work, these include discrimination on basis of origin or belief, but also due to age or handicap.   The breakdown is: 57.3% due to race, 13.3% due to handicaps, 8.3% due to religion or life-convictions, 6% due to age and 3.9% due to health.  De Witte points out that putting together discrimination due to race and religion gives almost two thirds of the total.

All together, the CGKR got 2,207 complaints of discrimination in 2008.  In 39% of those, there was indeed discrimination, in 32.2% there was no discrimination or it couldn't be proven, in 25.3% the law did not apply and in 3.5% the discrimination was justified.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

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