Rabat: Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri has warned against the growth of extremism and hate speech in the world against Muslims despite the great efforts exerted over the past three decades in the field of dialogue among cultures and alliance of civilizations.
Altwaijri made the remarks in the wake of Friday’s heinous attack by an Australian terrorist, who opened fire at Muslim worshipers inside two mosques in New Zealand’s southern city of Christchurch, killing 50 people and leaving more than 50 seriously injured.
He affirmed that Islamophobia has become a global phenomenon with international spin-offs and harmful repercussions on the rights, security and safety of Muslim citizens in countries outside the Islamic world.
The ISESCO chief said that governments, as well as regional and international organizations, are invited to intensify their efforts to fight this serious phenomenon that jeopardizes international peace and security. He stated that this phenomenon is totally contrary to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the relevant international declarations and conventions, especially Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
As such, he said, efforts should be intensified to fight Islamophobia and promote the culture of dialogue, understanding, harmony, peaceful coexistence and alliance among the followers of different religions and cultures.
Altwaijri noted that the Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 11 April 2011, was the culmination of the efforts exerted by the Arab and Islamic Group within the organs of the UN, including the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The director general also urged the entire international community to fight this serious phenomenon because it does not only target Muslims and Islam, but also the human values that preach mutual respect and coexistence. Thereby, he called on the United Nations to proclaim March 15 – the date of Christchurch atrocious massacre – as the “International Day for Combating Islamophobia” in all its forms and manifestations.