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EDITORIAL: Wrongly maligning Islam and its followers for anything that goes wrong in terms of violence anywhere in the world is part of history. But the accent this mindset has imbibed since the 9/11 is kind of albatross that hangs around the neck of every Muslim on foreign land. And there is no dearth of anti-Islam propagandists in the world, particularly in Europe, who run campaigns to coax the simple minds to believe that Islam as religion legitimizes violence against non-Muslims and therefore its practitioners should be marked and treated as enemies.

It was one such mindset that carried out a murderous attack on worshippers in a Christchurch mosque on March 15, 2019, killing 51 and injuring many others. That’s how the much-maligned Islamophobia works and not much is in evidence that the international community has a plan to discourage and curb it. But of late a kind of realization has come to influence the leaders in the West that Islamophobia is unreal and unfounded. So, to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Islamophobia is “unacceptable at any cost” and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) does not count to be freedom of expression.

However, the page on Islamophobia was turned on Tuesday as the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), proclaiming March 15 as ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’. The resolution presented by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Munir Akram asks all countries, UN bodies, international and regional organisations, civil society, private sector and faith-based organisations to “organise and support high-visibility events aimed at effectively increasing awareness of all levels about curbing Islamophobia”.

The sponsors of the resolution included China and Russia, but expectedly among those who expressed reservations about the resolution was India and the European Union. The India’s ambassador argued that the resolution does not cover anti-Hindu phobia among other religions without conceding that it is his RSS-BJP combined ruled country where anti-minorities Hindutva is being promoted by the higher judiciary as well and where the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi is being openly lionized and worshipped.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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