WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with local leaders and government officials in Paris and Copenhagen this weekend as follow up to the violent attacks that took place in both cities earlier this year – the siege at a Kosher Market following the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the shooting at a free speech event at Copenhagen’s main synagogue. Senator Cardin’s engagement included conversations with Jewish, Muslim, African descent, interfaith, and other community leaders on Jewish security, as well as civil society coalition efforts to combat all forms prejudice and discrimination.
In March, Senator Cardin was named as the Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the 57-nation Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. Among Senator Cardin’s responsibilities are raising awareness and reporting to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on the persisting problem of prejudice and discrimination in the OSCE area, including anti-Semitism, other religion- and race-based intolerance and other forms of intolerance. Senator Cardin delivered the first of these reports to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly while in Copenhagen.
Just prior to his trip, Senator Cardin introduced legislation that would prohibit discriminatory racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels, nationwide.
“Crimes against individuals and groups based on race, religion and other forms of intolerance continue at an alarming rate in Europe and at home in the United States,” said Senator Cardin. “As I stood at the sites of these heinous attacks on people simply going about their daily routines, in addition to the emotion of the moments, I was struck by the enormous responsibility we have to use all means necessary to combat the growing anti-Semitism and racism in our communities. We must stop this latest rise in intolerance before it takes root in the next generation.”
In France, Senator Cardin met with Prefect Gilles Clavreul, Head of the Inter-ministerial Delegation against Racism and Anti-Semitism, who outlined the 40-measure action plan on “Mobilizing France against Racism and Anti-Semitism,” released by the French government earlier in April. In Copenhagen, Senator Cardin also participated in the annual Bureau meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.