Pakistan, Türkiye & Indonesia call for united action to combat rising Islamophobia

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NEW YORK, Jun 06 (APP):Amid a rising tide of anti-Muslim hate, senior diplomats from Pakistan, Türkiye and Indonesia Wednesday reaffirmed their governments’ collective commitment to combatting Islamophobia, while also advocating peace, tolerance, and inter-religious dialogue.

They were speaking at an event co-hosted by the consulates general of the three Islamic countries at the Turkish Consulate General in New York.

In his remarks, the Consul General of Pakistan, Aamer Ahmad Atozai, emphasized Islam’s core principles of moderation, pluralism, compassion and tolerance.

He highlighted the misrepresentation of Islam by a minority of extremists and the worrying surge of Islamophobia since 9/11, encompassing hate speech, violence, and institutional discrimination against Muslims.

Atozai also underscored Pakistan’s active role, alongside Türkiye and Indonesia, in the recent adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution on “Measures to combat Islamophobia,” which includes a call for the appointment of a United Nations Special Envoy on combatting Islamophobia.

The Pakistani Consul General denounced Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza as a stark reflection of global Islamophobia, shedding light on prevalent Islamophobic incidents worldwide, including hate speech, targeted attacks, and discrimination against Muslims.

Atozai also drew attention to the systematic destruction of religious sites in India and other Islamophobic actions within that country. He also pointed to the significant military presence of Indian occupation forces in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as well as India’s discriminatory policies aimed at altering the region’s demographic composition from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority through demographic engineering.

A panel discussion followed, featuring noted speakers who analyzed various aspects and dimensions of Islamophobia.

Associate Prof. Dr. Enes Bayrakli from Türkiye discussed the nature and roots of Islamophobia, while Dr. Imam Shams Ali from Indonesia examined the factors contributing to Islamophobia and proposed strategies towards combating it. On his part, Raza Ahmad Rumi, a Pakistani journalist, focused on the dangerous manifestations of Islamophobia in today’s world, particularly in India and the urgent need for effective measures to counteract them.

The speakers underscored the crucial role of international cooperation as well as community engagement in tackling Islamophobia. The consuls general reiterated their governments’ dedication to promoting mutual respect and understanding among diverse communities, reaffirming their commitment to the ongoing collaborative endeavors in this critical endeavor.