In this podcast, the role of education in the fight against Islamophobia following the London killing of a British soldier is discussed with a leading international expert.
“States and a lot of civil society actors have learnt a lot,” says Taşkın Tankut Soykan, an OSCE/ODIHR adviser on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims (photo). “There is an improvement in how to respond and prevent backlashes against Muslims.
“But unfortunately we continue to hear rhetoric accusing all Muslims of committing such horrible crimes but we try to encourage law enforcement and politicians to work closely with the Muslim communities and the rest of society so that those backlashes are prevented.”
Soykan was a keynote speaker at a 5 July Council of Europe conference entitled ‘Challenging anti-Muslim Prejudice and Promotion of Mutual Understanding in Multicultural Societies through Education.’
The organisation has joined with UNESCO and OSCE / ODHIR to develop ‘Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims.’
Soykan hopes the guidelines will be the basis for fighting prejudice among young people. He adds: “For the first time these three very important and credible organisations have identified what is Islamophobia.
“Of course criticism of Islam should be part of a democratic discussion but there are times when this line is passed and becomes the stereotyping of people.”
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