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Pakistan urges UN Human Rights Council to step up efforts to end rise in Islamophobia


GENEVA: Pakistan called for redoubled efforts to stop and reverse the growing trend of Islamophobia and other forms of racial discrimination, stressing that “meaningful responsibility of perpetrators” must be guaranteed.

“Islamophobia is a dangerous form of contemporary racism, fueled by decades of anti-rhetoric and public policies as well as stereotypes towards Muslim communities and minorities,” said Ambassador Khalil Hashmi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations office in Geneva, at the UN Human Rights. Council Monday. In a separate speech on behalf of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ambassador Hashmi rejected any efforts to legislate discriminatory and targeted measures against Muslim individuals and communities under the guise of combating terrorism in some western countries and others.

The Pakistani envoy made the speeches during the general debate of the 47 members of the Council on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance. Speaking on behalf of Pakistan, Ambassador Hashmi said the most visible and consistent examples of Islamophobia were evident in the steady rise of right-wing extremist Hindutva ideology in the South Asian region. South which has targeted Muslims, Christians and Dalits, among others, through communal violence, deprivation of citizenship, attacks on religious sites, forced conversions and ban on religious practices.

Violent attacks have resulted in death and economic damage, he said, worrying that many perpetrators of these crimes enjoy state patronage and protection, thus strengthening a growing culture of impunity. Stressing that people under foreign occupation are the most vulnerable to multiple forms of discrimination, “said Ambassador Hashmi,” these disturbing trends are most striking in occupied Jammu and Kashmir where the neo-colonial regime is changing the demographic structure by converting the Muslim majority into a minority and by erasing their distinct cultural and religious identity, in flagrant violation and in defiance of international law.

Speaking on behalf of the OIC, Ambassador Hashmi said that failure to tackle racial discrimination, xenophobia and religious intolerance not only threatens societies but also undermines aspirations for global coexistence. peaceful. “We strongly condemn and call for an end to incitement to violence through the denigration of venerated religious figures and symbols through the Holy Prophet (PBUH) cartoon contests, destruction of mosques; and the ban on the construction of minarets, ”he said.

The OIC lamented the vilification of any religion, claiming that the use of Islamophobia as a tool to raise political or media ratings, as evident in some so-called democracies, cumulatively represents a new form of institutionalized discrimination and deserves unqualified condemnation. The OIC expresses its deep concern at the ban on the face veil in some European countries, ”said Ambassador Hashmi. hatred and Islamophobia.

“These measures further marginalize Muslim women and deprive them of their fundamental rights and freedoms,” the OIC said. The OIC appreciates the importance of the right to freedom of expression, but stressed that this right cannot be invoked as an authorization for hate speech, willful ridicule or willful insult to religion, religious figures and to the sensitivities of others.

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