As Islamophobia is on the rise in Spain, and in all of Europe, a Moroccan NGO is making efforts to prevent it and support its victims.
Rabat – The Moroccan Association for the Integration of Immigrants has organized the first conference on Islamophobia in Spain. The conference started on Wednesday, December 11, at the University of Malaga, southern Spain, and will last over two days.
More than 50 speakers are taking part in the event. They will discuss and analyze Islamophobic discourse in order to ensure better protection for Spain’s Muslim community, according to Spanish media.
The Moroccan NGO organizing the event is based in Malaga and is fully funded by regional and central public organizations.
The rise of the far-right Vox party in the latest elections is also a source of concern for the Muslim community in Spain. On Sunday, November 10, Vox won 52 seats in the Spanish Congress of Deputies after gaining only 24 in the April parliamentary elections. The party’s newfound popularity gave them the third most parliamentary seats in Spain.
In July 2019, the Moroccan association of Malaga launched a telephone application to combat Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims.
The NGO considers the application as part of the National Program for the Prevention of Islamophobia.
The program seeks to protect the Muslim community in Spain against the rising scourge of Islamophobia. It also aims to “give specialized attention to cases of discrimination based on Islamophobia, improving the victims’ knowledge of their rights and existing resources,” as well as to increase the level of awareness and ability “to detect discriminatory incidents caused by Islamophobia.”
The application is available on Google Play for free.
Miguel Angel Aguilar, a coordinator for services dealing with hate and discrimination crimes in Barcelona, told the press that his country is observing an increase of hate crimes “even though not at an alarming level, in Islamophobia and attacks against Muslims, and in religious hate in conversations on social media.”
The report stated that there was a 120 % increase in hate crimes in 2017.
Aguilar, according to Anadolu Agency, said that 39 out of 41 cases “related to religious hate crimes in 2017 were about Islamophobia.”
The most religious hate crimes occur in the autonomous region of Catalonia. The region is home to 2 million Muslims.