Monday, 15 November 2010
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Europe Must Fight The Rise Of Hate Speech
In his statement marking International Day for Tolerance, the minister said: “Discrimination is still rife in Europe, whether based on colour, ethnic or national origin, religion, language, citizenship or other grounds.
“Deteriorating social ties lead to increased radicalisation among certain groups. Moreover, the standards set by our Organisation are being increasingly questioned openly by those who engage in xenophobic or islamophobic political discourse, spurious debates about integration and national values or simply hate speech.”
The foreign minister reaffirmed the Council of Europe’s “commitment to co-operate actively with our partner organisations universal and regional, in the quest for deep security founded on freedom, equality, justice, opportunity and respect for diversity.”
The appeal to the organisation’s 47 member states to “uphold the human rights of individuals on the basis of respect for each person’s distinct identity,” follows a European Commission Against Racism And Intolerance report last June which pointed to the sharp rise in extremist politics in Europe.
Davutoğlu’s comments also follow a week of headlines and heated discussions in Germany and Croatia on homophobia in sport.
The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF), has called on football authority UEFA to take action against Croatia’s football chief Vlatko Markovic for his allegedly discriminatory remarks.
Markovic’s comments added fuel to debate on homosexuals in football which had been reignited by Bayern Munich star Mario Gomez. In an interview with a German magazine, the former footballer of the year encouraged gay footballers to declare publicly their sexual orientation, claiming it would improve their performance.
"They would play as if they had been liberated," Gomez said. "Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic."
Thorbjørn Jagland, the Council of Europe’s Secretary General, has spoken out strongly against homophobia and discrimination aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
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