HE Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC, delivered a presentation on the “Global Muslim Diaspora Project” at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Headquarters in Brussels. Amb. Kulaklıkaya was in Brussels on a working visit to attend the Fourth Meeting of the Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) Task Force, held between 29-31 May 2018.
During his presentation at EEAS Headquarters, Amb. Kulaklıkaya presented the preliminary findings of the “Global Muslim Diaspora Report” and emphasized the importance of the project and its main aim to create an interactive atlas through a range of useful statistics on Muslim population living in non-Muslim-majority countries.
“This report provides a range of useful statistics on the Muslim diaspora, as well as insights on the similarities and differences of challenges faced by them in different countries.” Amb. Kulaklıkaya said.
Furthermore, he stressed the need to improve the image of Muslims living in Europe. “We are witnessing normalization of Muslim lives, which is evident through their integration in cultural life, political participation, legal recognition of Islamic organizations, freely practising the Islam etc. This is why there are so many Muslim refugees in Europe. In order to win against the extreme right, we need to improve the public image of European Muslim communities”.
The meeting was attended by relevant representatives of international organisationa and EU institutions, including; Mr Merete Bilde, Senior Policy Advisor at the EEAS, Mr Marco Morettini, Deputy Head of Division for Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Regional Policies, Mr. David Friggieri – European Commission’s Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred, Mr. Aske Bonde – Policy Officer, Turkey Division, Mr. Vaiya Alfaiz – Coordinator of the European Parliament Anti-racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI), Mr. Michael Privot – Director of European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Mr. Massimo Pronio – Policy Officer for MENA region and Ms. Emma Herminia Modoran – Security Policy Officer for MENA region.
They appreciated the work done by SESRIC and it was agreed to cooperate with relevant EU institutions on this issue. On the next step of the Project, they will share their feedback.
Also, Amb. Kulaklıkaya shared the findings of the report with diplomatic representatives of OIC Countries in EU and representatives of Muslim community in Belgium during an Iftar dinner hosted by HE Amb. Faruk Kaymakcı, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU.
In September 2016 the SESRIC launched the “Global Muslim Diaspora Project”, the first comprehensive study of Muslim communities living in the non-OIC countries, aiming to analyse challenges, experiences and perceptions on a range of issues related to Muslim communities living in non-OIC countries.
Muslims constitute one of the largest Diasporas in the world. Islam is present in European soil as a religion, but also as a cultural and civilizational value for almost fourteen centuries. According to the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, the estimated size of the European Muslim population in 39 European countries is around 25 million, with more than 19 million of them living in the EU Member States.They appreciated the work done by SESRIC and it was agreed to cooperate with relevant EU institutions on this issue. On the next step of the Project, they will share their feedback.