UN Alliance of Civilizations slams anti-Islam remarks by leaders of India’s ruling political party

United Nations, June 09 (KMS): The top official for the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Moratinos, has rejected the “derogatory” comments about holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam made by two leaders of India’s ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), warning that such remarks will lead to violence.

Moratinos, the High Representative of UNAOC , an initiative aimed at galvanizing international action against extremism, also said that “offensive comments or actions that aim at insulting Muslims and/or adherents of any other faith will lead to incitement of violence and will fuel hatred”.

In a statement, he reiterated the importance of strengthening efforts to advance respect for all religions and beliefs and fostering dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and for the diversity of religions and beliefs.

The condemnation from the United Nations comes against the backdrop of massive diplomatic protests across the Muslim world over BJP’s leaders remarks insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

In an attempt at “damage control” and to quell the anger sweeping across the Muslim world, the BJP, which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suspended its national spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, and expelled its Delhi media head, Naveen Kumar Jindal, calling them as “fringe elements”. But the move has had little success.

“With more and more Muslim countries and the OIC condemning this despicable act, and now UNAOC joining such calls, pressure is growing on India to bring an end to the systematic campaign of Islamophobia, hate and violence against Muslims in the country,” a diplomatic observer said.

On June 5, the General Secretariat of the OIC issued a statement which called on the Indian authorities to “decisively address these incidents of defamation and all forms of insult to the noble Prophet and Islam and to bring those who incite and perpetrate violence against Muslims to justice and hold those behind them accountable”.

It also called on the Indian authorities “to ensure the safety, security and well-being Muslims in India and protect their rights as well as religious and cultural identity, dignity and places of worship.”