India

Anti-Islamophobia Day: Two Indian CMs seek steps against spread of anti-Muslim hatred

New Delhi, Mar 16 (KMS0: As the world marked March 15 as a Day to Combat Islamophobia, sitting chief ministers of two Indian states have called for strong action against those spreading hatred towards Muslims. They also spoke against the growing persecution of Muslims in India.

In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution sponsored by 60 member-states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), designating 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. The document stresses that terrorism and violent extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation, or ethnic group. It calls for a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace, based on respect for human rights and for the diversity of religions and beliefs.

Marking the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described it a “solid call to action” and a reminder of the disturbing rise of intolerance and hate crimes against Muslims worldwide.

“The UN’s International Day to Combat #Islamophobia is a solid call to action, reminding us of the disturbing rise of intolerance against Muslims and hate crimes worldwide. We must unite and ignite a flame of compassion and empathy to illuminate the darkness of hatred and bigotry,” Vijayan tweeted.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin also echoed similar opinion with regard to the anti-Muslim sentiment. Stalin urged people to resolve to fight against “systemic oppression of minorities & protect their rights in line with constitutional values”.

“History is replete with odious acts of discrimination & persecution of minorities that remain a blot on humankind. On International Day to Combat #Islamophobia, let’s resolve to fight the systemic oppression of minorities & protect their rights in line with constitutional values,” he tweeted.

On this occasion, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also urged the world to “stamp out the poison of anti-Muslim hatred” and stand against it.

“Today & every day, we must counter the forces of division by reaffirming our common humanity,” said Guterres.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also sought “an end to all forms of hatred, profiling & discrimination against Muslims on the basis of faith”.

“Islam, like other religions, stands for tolerance, respect, peace & human development,” he said.

According to the UN, Islamophobia is a fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world. Motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility that transcends into structural and cultural racism, it targets the symbols and markers of being a Muslim.

A report by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief found that suspicion, discrimination and outright hatred towards Muslims has risen to “epidemic proportions.”

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