The Ertzaintza has registered in the first ten months of the year 219 reports of hate crimes, of which 122 (55.7%) are linked to the racism and xenophobia. Of those 122 complaints, 39 they have been due to crimes related to the Arab or Muslim community (31.9% of all hate crimes related to racism and xenophobia).
This was explained by the First Vice-Lehendakari and Security Councilor, Josu Erkoreka, at the opening of the conference Dismantling prejudices about Islam, a work session, debate and reflection organized by the Ertzaintza, in collaboration with the Muslim community settled in the CAV, to help reduce the social stigmatization of this “target group” of hate incidents.
During his speech, Erkoreka, has put as objective To achieve, make the Basque Country a country “respectful both with the principles and values of a democratic society and with religious ideas, convictions and beliefs, a pluralistic and open society without discrimination or hateful behavior”.
To do this, he has urged citizens to be “brave, proactive and contribute to dismantling prejudices, gross perceptions and misinformed myths about people who practice Islam.”
Has considered it is essential to work to “eliminate intolerant behaviors” and he recalled that “freedom of expression cannot be a cover, in any case, for hate speech.”
In this sense, it has ensured that “reports of hate crimes in the CAV are on the rise, a fact that must be understood from a positive point of view because it confirms that this criminal typology is emerging: more and more are being detected and reported, thanks both to greater social awareness and to the progressive training of Ertzaintza agents and local police of Euskadi “.
Josu Erkoreka has given figures: “only in the ten months that we have been in the year, hate crimes registered by the Ertzaintza linked to events racist or the xenophobic have increased from 48.55% to 55.71% compared to the whole of last year. Among them, those related to the Muslim community have increased from 25% to 32% “.
Of the 219 hate crimes registered by the Ertzaintza in the first ten months of 2021, 122 complaints are linked to racism and xenophobia (55.7% of the total). Of these 122 complaints, 39 have been due to crimes related to the Arab or Muslim community (31.9% of all hate crimes related to racism and xenophobia).
In 2020, there were 241 hate crimes registered by the Ertzaintza; 117 were linked to racism and xenophobia (48.5% of the total). Of these 117 complaints, 29 were linked to the Arab or Muslim community (24.7% of all hate crimes related to racism and xenophobia).
The opening speech of the day was given by the psychologist and social educator Eva Maria Gomez Petisco, who has spoken about the “group social attitude of rejection and fear (called in sociology” moral panic “) that most Western countries have maintained towards Islam” and towards those who follow this religion “throughout history for consider it a threat. ” In this sense, he explained that Western societies have learned to “fear Islam and overreact to it”, and has described as “essential” that we learn to act on our prejudices and discriminatory behaviors to prevent any type of hate incident and promote relationships between different people.
From his position of woman converted to Islam, Petisco wanted to highlight the “even greater challenge” of being a woman and practicing Islam since, for example, the use of hijab it adds a second discrimination, although its use is chosen as a free option. It involves, de facto, a submission to public scrutiny and a added pressure in the form of hateful behavior such as challenging stares, hostile reactions, offensive comments, added difficulty in getting a job or renting a home, etc. According to the psychologist and social educator, “there is no doubt that stereotypes multiply with Muslim women.”