We at the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO) are appalled at the insensible killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and the concerning developments that have followed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and to all of those affected by the plague of anti-Black violence. We would also like to express our solidarity with black communities and anti-racist activists across the globe who are tirelessly fighting for justice and equality.
Systematic racism and anti-Blackness is a disease that we are all too familiar with in Europe and as European citizens, we must step-up our fight to eradicate it from our societies and across the globe. To be able to bring about meaningful and lasting change, it is vital that we educate ourselves and the communities we belong to on the issue of racism, colourism and anti-Blackness, and the different ways in which it manifests in society. This requires a level of introspection amongst ourselves, our communities, and the organisations and institutions that represent us – we must address these issues starting with our homes, classrooms and places of work.
Our values underpin every aspect of our work. To truly be a diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe we must ensure that we advocate for the civil liberties and rights for communities that continue to battle racial discrimination. This is why it is extremely important our solidarity expands beyond our words for black communities across the globe. We will continue to push for change within structures and adoption of policy that actively challenges the systemic exclusion and oppression of black communities in society – centering and providing space for their voices in the discussion.
The anti-Black racism and police brutality linked to this must not be seen as an issue that does not affect Europe. In 2018, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published the report Being Black in the EU, in this study 31% of the respondents mentioned that they had experienced racial harassment, with 1 in 10 of the respondents who were victims of racist violence mentioning that it was perpetrated by members of law enforcement.
We call upon the European Commission to institutionalise the resolution on fundamental rights of people of African descent in Europe passed by the European Parliament in 2019. In the resolution, the European Parliament recognises that “Afrophobia”, “Afri-phobia” and “anti-black racism” is a specific form of racism, including any act of violence or discrimination, fueled by historical abuses and negative stereotyping, and leading to the exclusion and dehumanisation of People of African Descent. We urge members of the European Parliament to demand for its implementation and continue to ensure that the issue of racism and prejudice is at the forefront of discussions and agenda points.
FEMYSO stands with communities and organisations fighting for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity. We will continue to work for a more diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.