A Mosque Attack in Warsaw Was the Latest Sign of Growing Islamophobia in Poland

A Mosque Attack in Warsaw Was the Latest Sign of Growing Islamophobia in Poland
Police gather evidence after unknown perpetrators broke windows at the Muslim Cultural Center in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 27, 2017 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

On Nov. 26, vandals attacked a Muslim cultural center and mosque in the Polish capital of Warsaw, smashing a dozen of its windows. Far from being an isolated incident, the attack came amid growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Poland, where the government has refused to admit refugees and asylum-seekers and far-right extremism appears to be on the rise. In an email interview, Kasia Narkowicz, a researcher of Islamophobia at the University of York in the United Kingdom, discusses anti-Muslim sentiment in Poland, what is behind it and what civil society groups are doing to oppose it.

WPR: What is driving anti-Muslim attitudes in Poland?

Kasia Narkowicz: There are several things driving them. While hostility toward Muslims is not something entirely new, it has been growing in recent years, particularly since 2015.

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