The European Muslim population grew from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010 and is expected to rise by 2030 when Muslims are projected to make up 8% of Europe’s population, according to population projections by the Pew Research Center. European Muslim communities are younger in profile, similar to the British Muslim population. In 2010, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 32, while the median for all Europeans was 40.
Challenges facing British Muslim communities do not stop at our border; Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred are transnational phenomena which require cross-border co-operation and strategies. Anti-Muslim discrimination and racism in the workplace is a huge problem in the UK where British Muslims face the highest rates of employment discrimination. The EU first introduced legislation to combat discrimination in employment on grounds of religion and it continues to monitor and challenge Member States’ progress on tackling racism and discrimination in employment, housing, education and goods and services. No policy on countering terrorism can succeed without multilateral co-operation of the type afforded by the EU.
This referendum is about facing up to the realities of our contemporary political and social challenges and the effectiveness of supranational institutions in creating and implementing the policy responses we need to tackle the global issues we face.