Speaking at a special event sponsored by the UN in the General Assembly Hall to honor the first-ever International Day to Combat Islamophobia, speakers emphasized the need for effective action in the face of escalating anti-Muslim prejudice, violence, and intolerance.
The UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in March 2022 designating March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. Pakistan presented this resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The initiative that resulted in the declaration was launched in 2020 by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. About two billion Muslims worldwide, who originate from every continent, “reflect humanity in all its magnificent diversity,” according to the UN Secretary-General. Nonetheless, they frequently encounter discrimination and prejudice just because of their religion. In addition, Muslim women may experience “triple discrimination” on account of their religion, race, and gender.
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Speaking at a special high-level event at the UN headquarters in New York to highlight the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the global community should not underestimate the resentment and sense of injustice that the Muslims felt when faced with deliberate acts of Islamophobia, like the burning of holy books.
UN Secretary General António Guterres asked all nations to “keep working together to advance the shared values of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual understanding” and warned that the “growing hate that Muslims face is not an isolated development but the resurgence of ethno-nationalism.”
Prevaling acts of Islamophobia, such as the burning of the Holy Quran, are not the result of post-9/11 concerns that stemmed from stereotypes of Muslims as terrorists. Instead, the majority of Muslims in the countries where they reside as minorities experience intense prejudice and hostility, which is the root cause of these attacks on Muslims worldwide.