GUE/NGL MEPs have strongly condemned all acts and forms of racism, anti-semitism, islamophobia and xenophobia.

They also called for perpetrators to be punished and for all forms of stigmatism to be eradicated from our societies.

Speaking in a European Parliament debate on 11 March, Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos warned: “Anti-semitism, islamophobia and extremism are particular forms of a racist mentality and in the worst cases perpetrators shed all vestiges of humanity in their hate. We must condemn these phenomena in the same way as we condemned the holocaust after the Second World War. Public condemnation and public punishment of racism is absolutely necessary so that it can be eradicated from Europe.”

French MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat said: “Over the past few years a climate of hatred has been rising in the EU and there have been some stop-gap solutions on the political level. But we have to combat racism together. Anti-semistism and islamophobia feed into each other. Muslims have been stigmatised after 9/11 and anyone with the wrong colour skin is discriminated against whether they are believers or not. We participate in this stigmatisation. We need more awareness, the separation of religion and politics and the possibility for people to express themselves religiously as if they were expressing an opinion.”

Evoking racist and anti-semitic events in Dresden over the past year, German MEP Cornelia Ernst said: “It's not religion, it's the fact that people are stigmatised, they are alienated and humiliated. They can't express their individuality. That's what happened in Auschwitz – the lesson from Auschwitz should be that the alienation of people is anti-human. We've got to get rid of racism. We've got to take social cohesion seriously within the European Union.”

Spanish MEP Marina Albiol condemned the fact that islamophobic and xenophobic discussions have been held in this Parliament. “On 15 January, a French Front National MEP made declarations here talking about the islamisation of France and linking Islam with terrorism. This is hate discourse and feeds intolerance and violence. GUE/NGL asked President Schultz to penalise this but nothing was done. Not penalising this type of xenophobic activity is giving wings to hatred and intolerance.”

French MEP Younous Omarjee expressed his concern that European societies are getting closer to rupture.

He said: “The demonic threat that is breaking up our societies and the plague that is closing in on our democracies is something we have to defy. The only way we can do that is to act together, to build on the bases of our values and fight tooth and nail against all forms of racism, religious fanaticism and fascism. It also means we have to make culture prevail over ignorance.”

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