FM appraises UNSG regarding the derogatory remarks by Indian BJP officials, rising Islamophobia in India

UN urges end to ‘violence’ against protestors of offensive remarks Islamophobia in India

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Islamabad (VOM): Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari held a telephonic conversation with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres. The Foreign Minister apprised the Secretary General of the ongoing Islamophobic actions by India’s ruling party, BJP, in particular the derogatory remarks recently made by two of its senior officials towards the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Foreign Minister underscored that such wilful and deliberate provocation had deeply hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims around the world. He urged the Secretary General to take cognizance of this abhorrent development amidst the rising tide of hate speech and Islamophobia in India. He also condemned the high-handed treatment meted out to peaceful protestors by the Indian authorities, including unlawful bulldozing of protestors’ homes as a form of punishment without any due process, which was the latest manifestation of the BJP-RSS combine’s unabated persecution of Muslims with complete impunity.

The Foreign Minister noted that despite the international denunciation of the BJP officials’ sacrilegious remarks, the failure of the top BJP leadership and Indian government to unequivocally condemn it was deeply disappointing and pointed to their complicity. The BJP-RSS dispensation had not only persisted in its Islamophobic acts, but also shamefully chosen to handle peaceful public protests with brutal and indiscriminate use of force.

Noting the UN’s positions on hate speech and Islamophobia, and the comments by the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the Foreign Minister urged the Secretary General to monitor such incidents and highlight the new and emerging threat posed by Islamophobia, xenophobia and right-wing extremism. The Foreign Minister also urged the Secretary General to play his due role in halting the grave and systematic human rights violations in IIOJK.

The Foreign Minister and the Secretary General agreed to remain in contact for coordinating international efforts to effectively combat Islamophobia.

The United Nations Tuesday called for a halt to violence based on “religious differences and hatred” in India where Muslims protesting against derogatory remarks by the ruling party leaders about Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) are being attacked.

“Our position is, as we’ve said, time is for the full respect of religion for calling against any sort of hate speech or incitement, and of course, a halt to any sort of violence, especially one based on perceived religious differences and hatred,” the UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in response to a question about U.N’s stand on the escalating violence against Muslim.

The derogatory references to Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party has generated a huge diplomatic outrage, with several Muslim countries, including Pakistan, lodging official protests against India. Anger has poured out on social media, and calls for a boycott of Indian goods have surfaced in some Islamic nations.

The controversial remarks follow increasing violence targeting India’s Muslim minority carried out by Hindu nationalists who have been emboldened by Modi’s regular silence about such attacks since he was first elected in 2014.

Over the years, Indian Muslims have been often targeted for everything from their food and clothing style to inter-religious marriages. Watchdog groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have warned that attacks could escalate.

Rights groups have also accused Modi’s ruling party of looking the other way and sometimes enabling hate speech against Muslims.

Islamophobia has existed in the world since the era of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Initially, Jews, Christian and members of other religions were involved in propaganda against Islam. Today, we are witnessing the renewed form of Islamophobia across the globe. The extremist Hindus in India, in particular, are the followers of Hindutva ideology and are not willing to allow any other religion in their country.  Pakistan at its end is continuously trying to convince the world capitals to come forward and play a role to combat the increasing Islamophobia. Unfortunately, the human rights violations of Muslims are not among their priorities as they prefer their commercial interests with India. It is high time for Muslim Ummah to get united as unity is the only way to bring the Muslims out of darkness. OIC being the prominent Muslim organization must play a pro-active role in this regard.

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