Islamophobia on Rise, Especially in Europe-U.N. Envoy

September 14, 2007

Author: Stephanie Nebehay

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Wire Service: Reuters

The United Nations investigator on racism on Friday condemned a rising trend of Islamophobia, especially in Europe, where he said it was being exploited by some right-wing political parties.

Doudou Diene, U.N. special rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, also accused Switzerland's most popular party, the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), of inciting hatred.

He urged the withdrawal of the party's controversial campaign poster calling for expulsion of foreigners who commit serous crimes, depicting three white sheep booting out a black sheep under the headline 'For the Security of All'.

'In the current context, Islamophobia constitutes the most serious form of religious defamation,' Diene said in a speech and report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose 47 member states were holding a debate on religious defamation.