Warsaw – A coalition of leading Muslim led Human Rights and advocacy groups will, over the next two days, speak at the OSCE’s Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw, the world’s largest regional security intergovernmental organization with 57 participating states. [1] The NGOs will decry what they have identified as an endemic of state sponsored Islamophobia across Europe. They will also highlight the systematic suppression of Muslim civil society which is giving rise to authoritarian policies across the continent. [2]

The coalition which comprises Perspectives Musulmanes (France), CAGE (UK), Assisting Communities Traumatised by Police (Austria), Lighthouse Advocacy (UK), The Centre for Muslims’ Rights (Denmark), INSAN (Sweden) and Muslim Rights Watch (Netherlands), will also organise a side event at the conference to highlight how European states have enabled the targeting of Muslim minorities through an array of discriminatory laws and policies with far reaching implications for the rule of law and the liberties we all enjoy. [3]

Lamies Nassri, Project Manager at Denmark based NGO, CEDA, will highlight the government’s anti-Ghetto policies which target Muslim and migrant communities, and note during the conference that:

The “ghetto”-policies’ main objective is to change the demographic make-up of the housing areas by forcibly evicting 60% of the residents from their homes. The policy also paints a picture of the residents as enemies within the State, who live in “parallel societies” that must be fought.

Elias d’Imzalène of France based NGO, Perspectives Musulmanes, will focus on how France’s state led Islamophobia is dismantling all free spaces for Muslims:

“This Orwellian policy affects the very corpus of the Islamic religion. Indeed, the Imams’ Charter prohibits imams from denouncing any form of Islamophobia, discrimination and injustice and imposes a new reading of Islam ordered by the State, an ‘Islam of the police prefectures. The police threaten to close any mosque denouncing this new inquisition while a political hunt is also carried out, targeting the dissenting voices of the community, thus making Muslim expression essentially criminal.”

Lighthouse advocacy from the UK will bring to attention evidence it has uncovered of unethical financial ties between UK higher education institutions and companies complicit in Uyghur forced labour. Ikram Hussain of Lighthouse advocacy will add:

“Lighthouse Advocacy urges the UK government to comply with the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and ban any import of goods from the Xinjiang region which has been produced as a result of forced Uyghur labour, and exhort British businesses and academic institutions to follow suit in ending their ties with such companies profiting from forced Uyghur labour.”

Nehal Abdalla, advocacy lead of Austria based ACT-P, will highlight the human rights and children rights violations of the November 2020 Operation Luxor raids, the single largest police operation in Austrian peacetime history:

“Operation Luxor is fraught with controversy, with the recent high court rulings deeming the raid unlawful and politically motivated. Operation Luxor has succeeded in spreading terror across the muslim community despite failing to even prosecute one individual successfully. The manner in which the Operation was designed and executed revealed a state sanctioned programme of Islamophobia.”

Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE, will draw attention to France’s systematic obstruction policy and will note how it amounts to a persecution of Muslims in France:

“As defined by the Rome Statute, “Persecution” means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to International Law by reason of the identity of the group or its collectivity. The deliberate deprivation of the freedom of religion, opinion and association of Muslim citizens of France that results from government policy and law, provides evidence of a State-led persecution of Muslims underway in France. ”






[1] Details of the conference and a live stream of the proceedings can be viewed from here: https://www.osce.org/chairmanship/warsaw-human-dimension-conference 

[2] Full text copies of the statements of each of the participating organisations can be accessed here (log in may be required): https://meetings.odihr.pl/resources/29

[3] Find attached promotional poster for the side event with attendance details. 



Image courtesy of OSCE

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)