EU names Marion Lalisse as new chief for tackling anti-Muslim hatred

She has 'significant experience' working with civil society groups in the Muslim world

Marion Lalisse, the new EU co-ordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination. EU Justice and Consumers
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The EU has appointed a former deputy ambassador to Yemen to lead its policies on tackling Islamophobia.

Marion Lalisse will fill a post that has been vacant for more than a year, a gap that had led to criticism in Brussels.

Ms Lalisse, whose title will be co-ordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred, said she was honoured to take on the role.

She said it was “an important topic that requires our joint efforts and commitment”.

Her appointment comes after a Quran-burning protest in Sweden led to condemnation from the Muslim world. Germany on Wednesday temporarily closed its consulate in Istanbul because of fears over a violent reprisal.

Turkey has separately issued a travel warning over what it called “dangerous levels of religious intolerance and hatred in Europe”.

The commission's equalities chief Helena Dalli said the appointment would “ensure responses to hatred, as well as structural and individual discrimination against Muslims”.

“We must fight anti-Muslim hatred in all areas of life including education, employment and social policy,” she said.

“We must also gather data about, monitor and tackle all instances of anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination.”

Before her role at the EU's delegation to Yemen, which is based in Jordan, Ms Lalisse worked on missions to Ghana, Mauritania and Morocco and on an aid programme for Turkish Cypriots, the European Commission said.

It said she had “significant experience” working with civil society groups in the Muslim world.

The co-ordinator role was created in 2015 as a point of contact for groups working against racism and Islamophobia. The previous occupant, Tommaso Chiamparino, left the role in July 2021.

The European Parliament had said in November the delay was regrettable and urged the commission to swiftly appoint a successor.

Updated: February 01, 2023, 5:59 PM