Hawzah News Agency (Qom, Iran) - This one-day conference which was held on Wednesday, February 7 was attended by well-known scholars and clerics, international figures and academic members from European and Asian universities such as Italy, England, Czech Republic, Netherlands.
The specialized panels of this conference were held in the afternoon under two titles; Unity and Islamophobia during which the scholars presented their papers.
The main problem of Czech Muslims is the lack of cohesion in their activities
Dr. Joseph Kraus from the Department of Political science at Masaryk University in Prague was a keynote speaker of the afternoon panels who delivered his speech on the issue of Islamophobia in Czech Republic. Dr. Kraus pointed out that there are as many as 3000 native Muslims living in Czech Republic.
In another part of his presentation, the Czech academic elaborated on the problems faced by Muslim minority in Czech saying, “The main problem for Muslims inside Czech Republic is that they do not act as a cohesive unit since there’s no firm organization among them. Therefore, they are not able to hold cultural and religious events.”
All translated books on Islam published in Czech were originally written in Arabic
Another key speaker of the special panels at the conference was Dr Veronica Sobotkova, Professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of West Bohemia in Czech Republic. The title of his paper was “Islam and Muslims in books” during which he reviewed several Islamophobic books which have recently been published in Czech Republic.
The Muslim scholar went on to depict the dimensions of growing Islamophobia within Czech society by saying, “During the last 5 years, 45 academic books have been published on Islam in Czech Republic all of which propagate Islamophobia and radical Islam.”
“These Islamophobic books influence Czech citizens’ attitude towards Islam and Muslims in general. Most of these books narrate stories about Islamic veil (Hijab), Muslim apostates and conflicts in the Middle East.”
The final keynote speaker of Unity panel was Czech professor Dr Petr Pelikan who presented a paper on the present status of racial discrimination and political justice for Muslim minority group in Czech Republic.
He remarked, “Islamophobic rhetoric in Czech first appeared on some websites and social networks; later these anti-Islam speech spread to more websites and online groups. After a while, this Islamophobic propaganda gradually made its way to Czech society and became apparent within the society and outside the cyber space.”