Religious Discrimination: A Common Denominator for Muslims in Western Europe

By: Engy Abdelkader

The murder of innocent French civilians—Jews and Muslims, men and women, cartoonists and law enforcement officials—by terrorists in Paris earlier this year rocked much of Europe. Observers frequently view manifestations of anti-Muslim bias through the lens of that attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices. In truth, the attack exasperated an existing anti-Muslim sentiment that helps contribute to the minority faith group’s inability to integrate, feelings of alienation, and perhaps, vulnerability to violent extremist recruiting. According to a 2013 public opinion poll, for instance, many Europeans view the Islamic faith as more threatening to their culture and values than any other faith tradition.

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