The United Nations (UN) General Assembly have approved a resolution declaring March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
The resolution, which was adopted by a consensus by the 193-member world body and cosponsored by 55 mainly Muslim countries, emphasizes on the right to freedom of religion and belief and recalls a 1981 resolution calling for “the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.”
Pakistan introduced the resolution on Tuesday on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and it marks the day when a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch and killed 51 worshippers in the attack. Pakistan’s UN envoy Munir Akram while formally introducing the resolution said anti-Muslim hatred has become a “reality” that is “proliferating in several parts of the world.”
“Such acts of discrimination, hostility and violence towards Muslims –– individuals and communities –– constitute grave violations of their human rights, and violate their freedom of religion and belief,” said Pakistan’s UN envoy Munir Akram in the General Assembly Hall.
The resolution expressed deep concern over the “the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religions and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, antisemitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions or beliefs.”
It adds that terrorism “cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,” and calls for “strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels.”
The resolution asked all countries, including UN bodies, international and regional organizations, civil society, private sector and faith-based organizations “to organize and support various high-visibility events aimed at effectively increasing awareness of all levels about curbing Islamophobia,” and to observe March 15 as the new International Day to Combat Islamophobia.