UN adopts landmark resolution: declares March 15 as “International Day to combat Islamophobia”

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Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated the Muslim Ummah on Tuesday after the United Nations (UN) acknowledged the world’s serious Islamophobia problem.

PM Khan, as he tweeted on Tuesday, said “our voice against the rising tide of Islamophobia has been heard”.

The premier announced that the United Nations, which has 193 member states, has adopted a historic resolution presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) declaring March 15 as “International Day to Combat Islamophobia.”

Under its terms, the resolution strongly deplores all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their places of worship, as well as all attacks on and in religious places, sites, and shrines that are in violation of international law.

To formally presented the resolution, Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, stated yesterday at the UNGA session that “Islamophobia is a reality,”

Ambassador Akram emphasized that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first to raise the subject of Islamophobia at the United Nations in his “historic” 2019 General Assembly address, and had consistently called for world attention and efforts to address this adverse phenomenon.

The resolution asks all countries, UN bodies, international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, and faith-based organizations “to organize and support various high-visibility events aimed at effectively increasing awareness of all levels about curbing Islamophobia”, and to observe the new International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

In the opening remarks, Akram said Islamophobia’s manifestations — hate speech, discrimination, and violence against Muslims — were proliferating in several parts of the world.

“Such acts of discrimination, hostility, and violence towards Muslim individuals and communities constitute grave violations of their human rights and violate their freedom of religion and belief. They also cause great anguish within the Muslim world,” stated the Munir Akram.

“Muslims often feel stigma, negative stereotyping and shame and a sense that they are suspect communities that are being forced to bear collective responsibility for the actions of a small minority,” he added.

He continued and said, “The spread of Islamophobia, both in terms of the phenomenon’s momentum and outreach, is particularly alarming these days, for it has emerged as a new form of racism characterized by xenophobia, negative profiling, and stereotyping of Muslims”.

He highlighted that the “rise in hate crimes against Muslims, both offline and online, as well as discrimination in education, citizenship, immigration, employment, housing and healthcare sectors, among others, are well documented”.

Concluding his address he said “The objective of observing this day is about uniting, not dividing,”

 

 

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