UN Announces World Anti-Islamophobia Day After Imran Khan’s Historic Speech
In a landmark development, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on Tuesday, adopted a resolution introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to declare 15 March as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
The resolution was jointly sponsored by 57 members of the OIC, and eight other countries including China and Russia.
The resolution strongly condemns all acts of violence against people on the basis of their religion or belief.
Several member states hailed the resolution, but a few, including India, France, and European states showed reservations, saying that religious intolerance was a global phenomenon but the document singled out Islam and excluded other religions.
“Islamophobia is a reality,” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Munir Akram, told the 193-member Assembly, noting that the phenomenon was growing and must be addressed.
“The spread of Islamophobia, both in terms of its momentum and outreach, is particularly alarming these days, for it has emerged as a new form of racism characterized by xenophobia, negative profiling, and stereotyping of Muslims,” Munir Akram said.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first to raise the issue of Islamophobia at the UN in his historic 2019 address to the General Assembly, and had repeatedly called for international attention and efforts to address it.
oon after the development, Prime Minister Imran Khan felicitated the Muslim world.
“I want to congratulate the Muslim Ummah today as our voice against the rising tide of Islamophobia has been heard and the UN has adopted a landmark resolution introduced by Pakistan,” he tweeted.
The premier added: “Today, the UN has finally recognized the grave challenge confronting the world: of Islamophobia, respect for religious symbols and practices, and of curtailing systematic hate speech and discrimination against Muslims.”