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Credit Goes to Pakistan for Int’l Day to Combat Islamophobia


Areesha Qayyum

The UN should be applauded for designating March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, particularly in light of the widespread hate crimes and official discrimination against Muslims. The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution following the introduction of a resolution by Pakistan.

In addition to urging the international community to stop Islamophobia, the resolution denounces prejudice against adherents of other religions. Unfortunately, millions of people worldwide experience Islamophobia on a daily basis and it is not just a vague idea that they must deal with.

There are many different manifestations of Islamophobia, such as subtle attempts to bar Muslims from housing, employment, and educational opportunities due to their religion. It can also manifest in more violent ways, like state-approved attacks and pogroms directed at the Muslim community.

We must take a strong stance against each of these hateful expressions. Islamophobia gained momentum during the so-called war on terror when violent individuals acting in the name of Islam suffered the consequences for their actions, claiming to be fighting for the religion’s honor. Following 9/11, there have been fatal vigilante attacks on Muslims or people who “look” Muslim, in addition to profiling of individuals based solely on their faith.

Prejudice against Muslims has evolved in modern times, particularly at the state level. The state’s aim to “otherize” the Muslim community appears to have had a significant influence on the Karnataka High Court of India’s decision to maintain the ban on the headscarf. Regretfully, the Indian government seeks to control the clothing options available to Muslim women.

But the debate surrounding the hijab in India cannot be viewed in a vacuum. That is all a part of the hate speech against Muslims that the chauvinist BJP government has been promoting ever since Narendra Modi became prime minister. This heinous anti-Muslim campaign by the BJP includes discriminatory citizenship laws, lynching’s of Muslims on suspicion of transporting or consuming beef, and prohibitions on communal prayers.

The need for a coordinated effort to combat Islamophobia is demonstrated by decisions made elsewhere, such as in Europe, to restrict or outright ban the sale of halal meat and by efforts made by far-right parties in the West to demonize Muslims. By bringing this important issue to the attention of the world, Pakistan has done the right thing.

It takes work to advance pluralism and tolerance in a world torn apart by hatred. In addition to ensuring that adherents of all religions are free to practice their beliefs, Muslim governments also have an obligation to safeguard their minorities from extremists. Regretfully, rabble-rousers and populists constantly take advantage of the divisions in society. States and conscientious citizens must actively work to create a more tolerant world in order to oppose their plans and stem the rising tide of hate.