EU commits to €30m for protection of mosques amid surge in hate crime

The European Commission has promised a €30m (£26m) fund to increase security at mosques and places of worship across the continent as it condemned a recent rise in levels of antisemitism and Islamophobia as “un-European”.

Saying that tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas war had provoked hostility “reminiscent of the darkest days of Europe’s history”, the commission called on social media companies to do more to remove hateful content.

Announcing the new fund, which will mostly be used to step up security around public spaces, community centres and places of worship such as mosques, Margaritis Schinas, the vice-president of the commission, said no European should tolerate fellow citizens feeling unsafe.

According to a senior EU commissioner, there has been a sharp rise in Islamophobia similar to a “spike of hatred” towards Muslim communities after the 2015 refugee crisis, urging combat against anti-Muslim bigotry and all forms of hatred and racism.

Last month the French Muslim Council said it had received 42 letters containing threats or insults in October alone. Mosques had also been targeted, with 17 receiving threatening letters and 14 vandalised, it said.

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