UN Observes 1st International Day Against Islamophobia

The United Nations marked the inaugural International Day to combat Islamophobia with a special event at the General Assembly Hall in New York on Friday.

The day was established following an unanimous resolution in March 2022, which called for global dialogue to promote tolerance, peace, and respect for human rights and religious diversity.

Speakers at the event highlighted the need for concrete action against the rising discrimination, violence, and hatred targeting Muslims.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, emphasised the root cause of Islamophobia as xenophobia or the fear of strangers, reflected in discriminatory practices, hate speech, and travel bans.

The event was co-convened by Pakistan, whose Foreign Minister, Bilawal Zardari, warned against the spread of Islamophobia since the 9/11 tragedy and condemned the “Islamophobic narrative” being accepted by sections of mainstream media, policymakers, and state machinery.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, highlighted the need for political, cultural, and economic investments in social cohesion and to tackle hate speech that spreads online.

Guterres also praised the role of religious leaders in promoting dialogue and interfaith harmony.

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