The Universal Declaration of Human Rights allows every person the right to freedom of expression and opinion under Article 19, while also giving everyone the right to live free from discrimination – Article 23. Our monitoring highlights the tension between these two rights. In all countries, we are finding more and more examples of hateful speech against religious groups across all types of media, with harmful consequences for communities and community cohesion. Our monitoring is the first step in countering hate; we find it and then we take action to counter it. To see some action we have taken to counter the spread of hate speech against religious communities, go to www.getthetrollsout.org.
The Amadeu Antonio Foundation is the German partner of the „Get the Trolls out“ project. The other European partners are the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) (Greece), the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism — or Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme (LICRA) (Frankreich), the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) (Ungarn),The European Network on Religion and Belief and Karpos.
Now there’s a new report out, looking at the timespan January 2019 to Janurary 2020.
There were 604 registered incidents over the monitoring period. In the previous monitoring period we registered 310 incidents. The double number of incidents was not the only significant change – in 2018 they were equally spread across all six countries, in 2019 the number of incidents in the UK and Belgium were higher than in other countries.
There are a number of possible reasons for this increase, but a quick look at the political landscape in 2019 suggests what might have triggered this change. 2019 was the Brexit year, when both Brussels and London politicians, (primarily far-right populists) used language that spread fear and mistrust among religious minorities. In the UK, rhetorical strategies often included references to EU immigration policies and “violent religious communities the nation has to be protected from“.
The report is available as pdf: