Pakistan Urges the UN to Fight Against Islamophobia

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New York, MINA – Pakistan on Wednesday urged the UN General Assembly to step up efforts to counter the rising tide of Islamophobia around the world.

The United Nations announced acts of deliberate provocation and incitement to hatred and violence “are universally prohibited,” said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking by videoconference at an Alliance of Civilizations meeting as quoted from Anadolu Agency (AA).

The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative to build respect among people of different cultures and beliefs.

Qureshi warned of a “global revival” in intolerance, discrimination, racism, hate speech and violence based on religious beliefs.

“Today, Islamophobia is unmistakably the manifesto of right-wing and neo-fascist parties calling for the expulsion of Muslims, in the politicization of the headscarf, in the burning of the Koran; the deliberate destruction of Islamic symbols and holy sites, and the incitement of free speech through deliberately painful caricatures and competitions.

The Alliance of Civilizations is a political initiative co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain after being founded in 2005 by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Praising Turkey and Spain for co-sponsoring the Alliance of Civilizations initiative and holding the meeting, Qureshi said fears of a global coronavirus pandemic fueling racism and stigmatization shows the deep root of the problem of Islamophobia.

“In many places, including in our own regions, the pandemic has exacerbated the suffering of the community due to negative religious stereotypes,” he said.

Urging member states of the initiative to prohibit deliberate provocation and incitement to hatred and violence, Qureshi called on the UN General Assembly to declare an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” and build “a formidable coalition to end discrimination.

“Respect each other for religions and beliefs, not ridicule them; constructive engagement and not detachment. Let us work together to build a peaceful world where different civilizations and cultures coexist in harmony and on the basis of mutual respect,” added Qureshi.

The Alliance of Civilizations Initiative was established to promote mutual respect for different cultures and religious beliefs, as well as to provide a platform to bridge divisions and overcome prejudice. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)