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Thursday, May 23, 2024

UN experts highlight global spike in anti-Muslim violence

These acts of violence not only shock the conscience but also breed a climate of fear and deep-seated distrust within affected communities.

A group of UN independent experts has raised a poignant alarm over the alarming surge in acts of harassment, intimidation, and violence directed towards Muslims globally. On the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, these experts have shed light on the distressing reality faced by Muslim communities, urging for concerted efforts to address this pressing issue.

Escalation of Attacks 

The experts highlighted a concerning escalation in attacks targeting mosques, cultural centers, educational institutions, and even private property belonging to Muslims. These acts of violence not only shock the conscience but also breed a climate of fear and deep-seated distrust within affected communities.

Read More: UN responds to Ukrainian attack near Russian nuclear plant

Humanitarian Concerns in Gaza

During Ramadan, the experts highlighted Israel’s refusal to allow sufficient humanitarian aid to reach the predominantly Muslim civilian population in Gaza. This denial of basic necessities adds to the plight of an already vulnerable population, exacerbating tensions and perpetuating suffering.

Access to Sacred Sites 

The undue restrictions imposed on accessing Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in the wake of significant loss of life and destruction in Gaza, have raised grave concerns among the experts. Upholding the right to worship and protecting cultural heritage during times of conflict are imperative under international humanitarian law.

Failure of State Obligations

Acts of violence driven by perceived religious affiliations signify a failure of states to uphold their obligations to protect all citizens. The experts emphasized that killings, harassment, verbal abuse, and death threats rooted in religious discrimination are intolerable violations of human rights.

Political Exploitation and Religious Tensions

In the lead-up to elections, the experts noted a disturbing trend where state and non-state actors exploit religious tensions for political gain. Discriminatory laws and policies targeting Muslim minorities are promoted, undermining the principles of equality and fostering divisiveness within societies.

Global Dialogue and Tolerance

Despite the establishment of the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, hate entrepreneurs, political parties, armed groups, and religious leaders continue to perpetuate religious intolerance. The experts urged for strengthened international efforts to foster a culture of tolerance and peace, emphasizing the importance of respecting religious diversity.

Condemnation of Religious Intolerance

The experts vehemently condemned orchestrated public burnings of the Qur’an and called for the unequivocal condemnation of religious intolerance. Advocacy of religious hatred must be prohibited by law in accordance with international standards to prevent incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.

Human Rights Responsibilities of States

States are called upon to honor their human rights responsibilities and counter violations of religious freedom. Upholding universal values and international human rights principles is essential in addressing all forms of religious hatred, including Islamophobia.

Solidarity and Protection

Expressing solidarity with those who have suffered intolerance, discrimination, and violence due to their religious affiliation, the experts emphasized that nobody should live in fear of practicing their religion. It is incumbent upon all states to guarantee the equal protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Read More: UN calls to end Sudan’s escalating conflict during Ramadan

As the world grapples with the scourge of Islamophobia, it is imperative for global leaders, civil society, and individuals alike to stand in solidarity against religious discrimination and violence. Upholding human rights, fostering tolerance, and promoting respect for religious diversity are paramount in building a more inclusive and peaceful world for all.