27 September 2016
As part of Jean’s work on the European Parliament Intergroup on Anti-Racism and Diversity, today she hosted the presentation of a new report at the Parliament in Brussels, which looks at the way Islamophobia across Europe has evolved into new, accepted forms of discrimination.
The report, entitled ‘Environment of Hate: The New Normal for Muslims in the UK’ was authored by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and the event looked at the report, its findings and what could and should be done to stop the growth in hate speech and crime against Muslims in Europe.
Jean’s Opening and Closing comments can be found below
“My name is Jean Lambert, I am a member of the Parliament from the Greens/EFA Group of the European Parliament elected for the region of London in the UK. I am very pleased to host this event today on the ‘Environment of Hate: the New Normal for Muslims in the UK’, which is the title of the very substantive research work that was published a few months ago, with a lot of strong academic approval and great interest, certainly within the UK and elsewhere.
It’s been the role of the Islamic Human Rights Commission based in the UK that have put together the research and we have two of the authors here today to describe what they found and who have being taking the research to a number of different parliaments and the UN to talk about their findings.
We’re also doing this under the banner of the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup as I think it’s absolutely clear that we’re facing very considerable problems in the EU and outside it. We know what we are hearing in the Parliament in terms of the hate speech, the really appalling things actually being said about one of the worlds’ great faiths and its followers and we felt it was really important to look at that today.”
Jean’s Closing words
“I’d like to thank all of our panel for their contributions. My understanding of multiculturalism was always about understanding not about separation, that was a key part of it. When I was a teacher, as part of the anti-racism movement, it was understood that what you were trying to do was create an understanding which allowed you to move forward together and to make sure that people were treated with respect, and not set aside or undervalued simply because of the colour of their skin, the faith they had or didn’t have, gender or any other particular specificity. It was about people trying to treat people on the basis of universal values.
I think some of the questions you’ve been raising about diversity training and diversity awareness, are things which really are very important in so much of what we do at the moment and we could do with a fair bit of it in this institution. When I listen to some of the speeches that we have at the moment and I hear the way in which parliament conducts itself, the rules and values we should be promulgating, we need to be looking at that very closely.
In closing I’d like to thank my members of staff working on this, thank you very much indeed to all our speakers, you’ve given us some real food for thought and hopefully we can move forward on this with some policy recommendations.”