Entities and leaders of the Muslim community in Brazil fear a new rise in cases of Islamophobia, after a Federal Police operation with arrests and search and seizure warrants against suspects linked to terrorism became public this Wednesday (8). Reports of prejudice had already grown since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, on October 7, and the situation was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Justice.
“Unfortunately, the beginning of the conflict increased the volume of complaints we received and I believe that this investigation will increase it even more,” said lawyer Girrad Sammour, president of the National Association of Islamic Jurists (Anaji).
Last week, the entity presented an overview of Islamophobia and the recent increase that occurred after the start of conflicts in the Gaza Strip to the Secretary of Digital Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Estela Aranha – many of the cases occur through comments and content posted on social networks, but Anaji also received a greater volume of reports of prejudice on public transport and other situations, mainly against women.
It is estimated that 1.2 million to 1.5 million people live in the Muslim community in Brazil.
“In the first few weeks (after the start of the conflict), we received more than 200 reports of Islamophobia, compared to an average of 30 to 40 cases per month. This number is already higher and I believe it will grow further”, said Sammour.
The vice-president of the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil (Fambras), Ali Zoghbi, points out the same perception of an increase in cases of prejudice and the fear that investigations into alleged Brazilians linked to Hezbollah and a plan for terrorist attacks in the country will serve trigger for an even greater increase in Islamophobia.
“Much of this is the result of generalizations and lack of knowledge about Islamic principles, hence our work to spread the idea that Islam preaches love and peace,” said Zoghbi. “No one who commits acts of violence against anyone can claim to represent our community.”
Source: CNN Brasil
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