Islamabad: The Muslim world is observing International Day to Combat Islamophobia on Tuesday (today), to denounce rise in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims and other minorities in the West, India and other parts of the world.
Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading actors in the Muslim world to raise its voices against Islamophobia.
The credit for introducing the anti-Islamophobia Day also goes to Pakistan’s leadership, as the country presented a resolution at the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Niamey, Niger in November 2020 in this regard.
Since then, the 57-member OIC has been working with the international community to commemorate this Day at the global level.
Thorough observance of 15 March, Pakistan intends to send a message of international solidarity and cooperation to all Islamic countries besides highlighting the challenges that Islamophobia is posing to Muslims all over the world. OIC’s unanimous support for the designation of this Day is not only a reflection of the sentiments of billions of Muslims around the world but also of realization to build partnership among the Islamic world.
The 48th session of Foreign Ministers of the OIC countries to be held in Islamabad on 22-23 March 2022 will present opportunities to discuss issues and cooperate with one another at an especially challenging time across the globe and for the Muslims world in particular. Islamophobia has emerged as one of the grave concerns that have jeopardized the contours of harmony and cooperation between west and the Muslim world.
In a subtle response to Islamophobia, Russian President Putin has said that insulting Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) does nor court as an expression of artistic freedom but is a “violation of religious freedom”. Shashi Tharoor wrote in an article published in November 2021 that “over the last seven years in India, persecution of Muslims has been gradually normalized and Indians have become increasingly inured to it.
Indian Prime Minister Modi and his BJP are entirely to blame”. Islamophobia is not just a human rights violation but a contemporary manifestation of racism. 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 investigate attacks and hate crimes against Muslims and their places of worships. Web Desk