The head of the world's largest Islamic group came down heavily on growing Islamophobia saying that while US leaders resisted it, Europeans abetted the trend for political gain.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said xenophobia directed at Muslim immigrants was taking hold, especially in Europe. Vote-seeking politicians were advancing extremist groups behind the anti-Muslim sentiment.

"This issue has become a political agenda item," the Turkish head of the 58-member OIC said in an interview, while stressing that Islam was also a European religion.

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