The United Nations is observing March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia with the goal of taking “concrete action in the face of rising intolerance, discrimination, and violence against Muslims”. It is a chance to create dialogue and counter the false narrative that was spewed by those who seek to divide us and spread hatred and bigotry.
The International Day to Combat Islamophobia is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the serious impact of Islamophobia on the lives of Muslims around the world. It is a reminder that discrimination and violence against any group of people is unacceptable and must be challenged.
The UN’s initiative seeks to encourage governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to come together to take meaningful action to combat Islamophobia, promote respect for diversity and pluralism, and protect the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their religion, race, or ethnicity.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took to Twitter to affirm the move to fight discrimination against Muslims.
The first International Day to Combat Islamophobia is a call for action to stamp out the poison of anti-Muslim hatred. Discrimination diminishes us all. We must stand up against it,
Guterres said in a Tweet.
Tuesday marks the first time the UN observes the international day to combat islamophobia following the unanimous resolution that was proposed last Last year at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Guterres has earlier expressed his concerns about the prejudice against Muslims worldwide.
“It [Islamophobia] is an inexorable part of the resurgence of ethnonationalism, neo-Nazi white supremacist ideologies, and violence targeting vulnerable populations including Muslims, Jews, some minority Christian communities, and others,” Guterres said last week.
During a high-level event co-convened by Pakistan, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment following the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Since the tragedy of 9/11, animosity and institutional suspicion of Muslims and Islam across the world have only escalated to epidemic proportions. A narrative has been developed and peddled which associates Muslim communities and their religion with violence and danger,”
Zardari said in his address. He also added that the anti-Islam narrative is widely spread with an intention to smear the image of Islam and “has found acceptance by sections of mainstream media, academia, policymakers, and state machinery.”
Following the deadly 9/11 attacks, the West has waged a so-called “War on Terror” that has been widely seen as a thinly-veiled excuse to spread Islamophobia on a global scale.
unfortunately, the association of Islam with terrorism has become all too common, particularly in Western countries, perpetuating a culture of fear and mistrust.
There has been a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in many European countries in recent times that has caught the attention of netizens. There is an intentional hatred that is being perpetuated against the Muslim community sometimes even with the help of the state machinery.
The only way to counter this prejudice against Muslims is by educating people about Islam and sharing the other side of the story. By working together and rejecting hate, we can build a more inclusive and peaceful world for all.