This week ECRL members met in Brussels with Katharina Von Schnurbein, Advisor of the EU Commission, to discuss some of the challenges facing Europe and the role Religious leaders and multi-faith cooperation has in addressing these challenges.

Katharina Von Schnurbein: “Religions, because they look at society in a holistic way- not just their congregation- can have a real contribution.”

“Looking at faith specifically can be valuable because migrants come from different parts of the world. Their cultures may be different but faith can bring people together.”

“Intercultural and inter-religious dialogue is very valuable for those involved but often doesn’t go far enough and the media doesn’t pick up on it enough.”

Ms Von Schnurbein also shared with the council the progress of an EU project to tackle religious hate speech online and the hope that eventually websites will use algorithms to automatically detect language inciting hate.

ECRL members called for an increase in cultural competency and religious literacy whilst also increasing need to monitor hate incidents across Religions, not just islamophobia and anti-semitism.

Picture – left to right: Jehangir Sarosh, Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Kaisa Rauma, Rabbi Soetendorp, Yolande Iliano, Dr Brinder Singh Mahon Bhai Sahib, Rev. Dr Thomas Wipf, Katharina Von Schnurbein, Ozlem Nas, Jamie Cresswell, Imam Yahye Pallavicini, Bharti Tailor, Mufti Nedzad Grabus, Dr Mark Owen.