Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday said the UN resolution on Islamophobia would send a clear message against contemporary challenges of racism, discrimination and violence against Muslims.
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a landmark resolution introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC countries designating 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
In his message, the foreign minister said the resolution reflected the sentiments of more than 1.5 billion Muslims all around the world.
He said it was a matter of great satisfaction and pride for Pakistan to have steered this initiative under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
PM @ImranKhanPTI has repeatedly called for int'l attention & efforts to address #Islamophobia.
On March 15th, “Resolution on International Day to Combat Islamophobia” proposed by Pakistan is adopted in United Nations. #ThankYouImranKhan pic.twitter.com/cNuijLIV4Q
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 15, 2022
Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first Muslim leader to raise the issue of Islamophobia at the UN in his maiden address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2019.
The prime minister has since been regularly advocating the need to effectively combat the scourge of Islamophobia at various regional and international forums.
15th March as International Day to Combat Islamophobia
The 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Niamey, Niger, in November 2020, unanimously adopted a resolution initiated by Pakistan for the designation of 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
“Over the past year, Pakistan, together with other Islamic countries, pursued an extensive diplomatic process with UN Member States. Through constructive engagement, we and our OIC partners, were able to secure unanimous adoption by the UN General Assembly,” the foreign minister remarked.
Today @UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a landmark resolution introduced by 🇵🇰 on behalf of #OIC designating 15 Mar as Int’l Day to Combat #Islamophobia. Matter of great pride for Pakistan to have steered this initiative under the leadership of Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) March 15, 2022
He said the adoption of this resolution came at a time when hate speech, discrimination and violence against Muslims were proliferating in several parts of the world including in our neighbourhood.
“It is on vivid display in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Islamophobia today is manifested in negative profiling by security agencies, stigmatization, deliberate vandalizing of Islamic symbols and holy sites, killings by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws and policies, ban on hijab, attacks on mosques, pronouncements by far-right parties that call for expulsion and even “genocide” of Muslims, anti-Muslim migrant bias, and attacks on the dignity of Muslim women,” he commented.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said the commemoration of an International Day to Combat Islamophobia would raise international awareness about increasing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred besides promoting a message of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and interfaith and cultural harmony.
“We want to build bridges. We want to promote respect for all religions and beliefs. I reiterate Pakistan’s call for a global dialogue amongst civilizations under the ambit of the United Nations to promote peaceful co-existence and interfaith harmony,” he said.
The foreign minister also acknowledged the efforts of Pakistani diplomats, whose tireless work has culminated in the designation of this Day by the UN General Assembly.
He resolved that Pakistan would continue to advance international efforts to protect individuals against xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, violence, incitement to violence and hate crimes based on religion or belief.