OIC urged to play proactive role for countering Islamophobia, Xenophobia


ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):The meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) concluded with a unanimous call that it must play a proactive role in countering demonization and denigration of Islam and Muslims and adopt a comprehensive strategy in this regard.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who attended the emergency meeting of the OIC Executive Committee of the foreign ministers, convened in Istanbul at the initiative of Turkey, has expressed grave concerns over the use of Islamophobia and Xenophobia as vehicles for narrow political gain, said a Foreign Office press release received here on Saturday.  
Addressing the gathering, the Foreign Minister expressed Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the heinous March 15 terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which fifty precious lives were lost, nine of them from Pakistan.
He lauded the valour of Shaheed Dr. Naeem Rashid, who challenged the terrorist in complete disregard of his own life, saving the lives of many others.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said rise in Islamophobia in the western countries and India, had  morphed into violent expression of this abhorrent manifestation of racism. He said, “The international media must refrain from propagating narratives of stigmatization of Muslims and their negative stereotyping”.
He also called upon the Ummah to douse fire with water, falsehood with truth, bigotry with understanding and intolerance with compassion.  
Towards the end, Pakistan has submitted a number of proposals which included;
a) broadening the scope of United Nations 1267 sanctions regime by including in its scope individuals and entities associated with anti-Muslim racist extremist  groups;
b) requesting the Secretary General to engage with the management of social media platforms to ensure that these do not become conduits for incitement to violence
c) calling upon the UN Secretary General to convene a special session of the UNGA to declare Islamophobia a manifestation of racism and
d) to assign  a special rapporteur for monitoring and combatting
Islamophobia worldwide.

The Foreign Minister also met a number of leaders on the sidelines of the meeting, including the Foreign Minister of Turkey, the Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister of New Zealand and the Foreign Minister of Iran, and discussed matters of mutual concern with them.