Imran for collective efforts to fight emerging threat of terrorism – Islamophobia

UNITED NATIONS New York, Sept 24: Prime Minister Imran Friday called for collective efforts to fight the emerging threat of terrorism in the form of Islamophobia and urged a global dialogue to counter its rise while simultaneously promoting interfaith harmony.

“The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has recognized these emerging threats … We hope the Secretary-General’s report will focus on these new threats of terrorism posed by Islamophobes and right-wing extremists,” he said in a wide-ranging address to the United Nations 76th General Assembly session.

“The worst and most pervasive form of Islamophobia now rules India,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said.

He said the hate-filled ‘Hindutva’ ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million-strong Muslim community.

“Mob lynching by cow vigilantes; frequent pogroms, such as the one in New Delhi last year; discriminatory citizenship laws to purge India of Muslims; and a campaign to destroy mosques across India and obliterate its Muslim heritage and history, are all part of this criminal enterprise.”

The Prime Minister called on the Secretary-General to convene a global dialogue on countering the rise of Islamophobia.

“Our parallel efforts, at the same time, should be to promote interfaith harmony, and they should continue.”

He described Islamophobia as another “pernicious phenomenon that we all need to collectively combat” and said in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, terrorism has been associated with Islam by some quarters.

He said Islamophobia has increased the tendency of right-wing, xenophobic and violent nationalists, extremists and terrorist groups to target Muslims.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had been very vocal about Islamophobia and earlier this year asked the Organisation of Islamic Coopera­tion (OIC) to vehemently counter Islamophobia and falsely equating Islam with radicalism and terrorism.

He categorically stated that the blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) hurt the sentiments of over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and was not an issue of freedom of expression. He had regretted that vilification of Islamic precepts and religious personalities was wrongly justified under the garb of the right to freedom of expression or opinion.