The United Nations (UN) is observing 15th March 2023 as the first International Day against Islamophobia. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres affirmed that the move is “a call for action to stamp out anti-Muslim hatred”.
“Discrimination diminishes us all. We must stand up against it,” he tweeted from his official Twitter handle. “Today & every day, we must counter the forces of division by reaffirming our common humanity,” he added.
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.
Today & every day, we must counter the forces of division by reaffirming our common humanity.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 15, 2023
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Last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (unanimous) submitted by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to recognize the International Day against Islamophobia in order to combat the issue.
The UN said that a recent UN special rapporteur report on freedom of religion or belief indicated that “suspicion, discrimination and outright hatred towards Muslims had reached ‘epidemic proportions’”.
Islamophobia – An Increasing ‘Problem’
“It says to me that we really have a problem, a big problem, in order for the UN to come out and recognise that Islamophobia is a worldwide issue and to talk against it,” said Heisam Galyon, a member of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. “We need to talk about it. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t bring it up.”
Importance of International Day Against Islamophobia
The International Day Against Islamophobia is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the growing issue of hate and discrimination against Muslims.
By increasing awareness of Islamophobia and its harmful impact on individuals and society, the day can help promote greater understanding, respect, and tolerance towards Muslims and their beliefs.
Some ways in which the International Day Against Islamophobia can help combat hate against Muslims include:
- Raising awareness: By highlighting the prevalence and harmful effects of Islamophobia, the day can help raise awareness and educate people about the issue.
- Challenging stereotypes: The day can encourage people to challenge harmful stereotypes and assumptions about Muslims, and instead promote a more nuanced and accurate understanding of the religion and its followers.
- Encouraging dialogue: The day can promote dialogue and engagement between Muslims and non-Muslims, fostering greater understanding and respect between different communities.
- Advocating for change: The day can encourage individuals, organizations, and governments to take concrete steps to combat Islamophobia, such as implementing policies that protect Muslims from discrimination and hate crimes.
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