In connection that Islamophobia is a growing problem of the European Muslim, which limits the ability of the society to realize its potential, the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) in cooperation with the Council of Europe carried out a six-day educational session in Strasbourg, having united young leaders of Europe to discuss new approaches in struggle with Islamophobia.Ukraine was represented at the Forum by the all-Ukraine Association of Social Organizations "Аlraid" which sent on the action two representatives from Kiev and Kharkov.
The session title "Struggle with Islamophobia by means of inter-religious and intercultural cooperation" which passed in the European Youth Centre from May, 8th to 14th, 2011, states that organizers aimed at expanding possibility of Muslim youth in constructive struggle with Islamophobia at the expense of closer intercultural and inter-religious interaction.
Participation in educational session was accepted by young Muslims at the age from 20 to 30 years which already actively co-operate with the Muslim community in the country and are interested in the decision of the problem of Islamophobia, using inter-religious and intercultural cooperation.
In the course of the session the concept of Islamophobia, its sources, reasons and consequences were widely discussed.
Liz Fekete, the head of the Institute of Interracial Relations, the author of the famous book on Islamophobia “A Suitable Enemy”, emphasized that "Islamophobia acquires forms of stereotypes, discrimination and even institutional racism".
Having given an example of yashmak ban in France, Fekete stated, "We personally may not like yashmak, but supporting the ban we isolate women from the society, from social activity, and we discriminate them".
Rui Homes, the head of the department of Education and Management of Vocational Training on Affairs of Youth and Sports of the Council of Europe, presented to the attention of participants lecture about intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in the field of human rights. Among other conditions of the dialogue he noted readiness to consider both common features, and differences of the parties of the dialogue, avoiding desire to "win".
"Peace between people is impossible without peace between religions. And peace between religions is impossible without dialogue between them", Homes is convinced.
Representatives from Ukraine
Fine possibility for exchange of successful experience in overcoming of attacks against Muslims and their prevention was presented to representatives of 11 countries of the Western and the Eastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania.
The all-Ukraine Association of Social Organizations "Аlraid" participates not for the first time in joint projects of the FEMYSO and the Council of Europe, actively representing Ukraine since 2002.
Educational session in Strasbourg was visited by its representatives from Kiev and Kharkov - Olga Fryndak and Evgeniy Glushchenko.
Inspired by the received knowledge and experience, participants from Ukraine, as well as from other states, intend to continue developing and realization of suitable projects for the countries under the aegis of the FEMYSO.
FEMYSO - the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations - is association which aspires to provide, represent and expand the rights and possibilities of the European Muslims. Among its main purposes it is possible to name assistance to development, understanding and respect of human rights in the whole Europe, including, in particular, the decision of the problem of Islamophobia in its forms.