Feb 09


Feb 9th 10:30am - Feb 9th 12:00pm

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Hearing 
Anti-Muslim Policies and Bias in Europe 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM  
Virtual Hearing 

Hearing Transcript

Hearing Summary

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) held a virtual hearing about the laws, government policies, and societal biases that negatively impact Muslim communities in some European democracies.

In March 2021, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief informed the UN Human Rights Council that institutional suspicion of Muslims had reached “epidemic proportions.” Depending on the context, anti-Muslim bias “targets individuals on numerous grounds, including religion or belief, race, nationality, gender, migratory status, and ethnic origin, resulting in the intersection and confluence of discrimination based on religion or belief and other grounds.” In Europe, surveys show 4 in 10 citizens hold unfavorable views towards Muslims, and acts of discrimination and violence targeting Muslim communities in the region are on the rise. This bias manifests through laws, discrimination in public institutions, online harassment, prejudice through the immigration process, and violent societal attacks, which peaked in 2017 across 29 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and disproportionately impacted Muslim women.

Witnesses provided an overview of anti-Muslim laws and government policies across Europe and explained how these policies intersect with issues such as terrorism and migration. The hearing highlighted specific cases in France, the United Kingdom, and Hungary, as well as how the Bosnian Muslim genocide nearly 30 years ago is impacting Europe and how the discourse of genocide is instrumentalized today.


Opening Remarks



  • Christie Edwards, Deputy Head of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
    Written Testimony
  • Sabrina Saoudi, Advisor on Intolerance Against Muslims, OSCE ODIHR
    Written Testimony
  • Rim-Sarah Alouane, Constitutional Legal Scholar
    Written Testimony
  • Zara Mohammed, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
    Written Testimony
  • Dr. Péter Krekó, Director, Political Capital Institute Associate Fellow
    Written Testimony
  • Jasmin Mujanović, Political Scientist and Analyst of Southeast Europe, Co-Host of Sarajevo Calling Podcast
    Written Testimony


Witnesses’ Bios


This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the public, and the media. Members of the media should register online and can email [email protected] for any questions or to schedule an interview. The video recording of the hearing will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact Nina Ullom at [email protected] or (202) 322-0232.