ISLAMABAD, Mar 14 (APP): The Muslim world would observe the International Day to Combat Islamophobia on Tuesday to denounce rise in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims and other minorities in the West, India and other parts of the world.
Pakistan would also join the Muslim world to observe the Day as the country had emerged as one of the leading actors to raise its voices against Islamophobia.
The credit for introducing the anti-Islamophobia Day on March 15 also goes to Pakistan’s leadership as country had presented a resolution at the 47th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers in Niamey, Niger in November 2020.
Since then, the 57-member OIC has been working with the international community to commemorate this Day at the global level.
At the world platforms including the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan had been calling the world to act against Islamophobia asking the world leaders “to act collectively to counter growing phenomenon in non-Muslim states.
In the recent past, the prime minister welcomed Trudeau’s plan to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia, which he termed a “contemporary scourge”.
Imran Khan also recently appreciated Russian President Vladimir’s “emphatic statement” that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse the Prophet.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has regularly highlighted the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.
By Observing the Day, Pakistan intends to highlight the challenges that Islamophobia is posing to Muslims all over the world.
The scourge of Islamophobia led to negative profiling, mob lynching by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws, attacks on women wearing hijabs, ban on minarets and attempts to link and equate Islam with terrorism.
The 48th session of foreign ministers of the OIC countries, to be held in Islamabad March 22-23, 2022, will present opportunities to discuss issues and extend cooperation.
For decades, Muslim communities – India’s largest minority group – have faced discrimination and are being victims of communal violence which worsened under the Hindu nationalist BJP’s government particularly through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In a house of 543, there are 27 Muslim MPs in the Indian parliament. But none of them are from BJP, which does have a handful of MPs in the upper house.
Similarly, the Muslims have been the target of increasing Islamophobic attacks since the 9/11 terror attacks in the US and 7/7 terror attacks in the UK.
OIC countries must call upon all states to prevent any advocacy of religious discrimination, hostility or violence and defamation of Islam by incorporating legal and administrative measures and credibly investigate attacks and hate crimes against Muslims and their places of worships.