The 57-Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have expressed serious concern over increasing anti-Muslim attacks and sentiments. The heinous terrorist attack against innocent Muslims praying on Friday 15 March 2019 in New Zealand, killing more than 50 Muslims and injured many is just the latest such incident. This, according to the OIC Member States, is a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia.
In a statement delivered by Mr. Tahir Andrabi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan on behalf of the Member States of the OIC during the general debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance in the ongoing 40thSession of Human Rights Council in Geneva, the OIC Member States noted that at one level, these incidents are motivated by the populist frenzy and provoked by misguided media. At another level, these attacks are also linked with obvious double standards that portray Muslims as violent aggressors.
The OIC Member States believe that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The OIC Member States strongly believe in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all peoples, without any discrimination on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, colour or socio-economic status.
The OIC Member States urged the Office of the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in cooperation with the international community to make efforts to bring an end to acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities.
Anotherjoint statement delivered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of a group of countries observed that some States are still facing considerable challenges in their endeavors to criminalize extremist racistbehaviors in their territory while others are justifying hate speech and a culture of racial superiority, even in their parliaments.
The statement stressed that, “Time has come to take resolute and earnest measures to silence the voices of extremism which are propagating a culture of hatred and violence and to embark on a positive and constructive course of action to resolve this crisis in an urgent manner consistent with international norms.”