The United Nations has declared March 15 the "International Day to Combat Islamophobia". Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first world leader who highlighted the global rise in Islamophobia in a speech in September, 2021 at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Khan's speech was followed by the adoption of a Pakistani resolution at the UNGA co-sponsored with the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) on March 15, 2022 to observe "International Day to Combat Islamophobia" on March 15 every year.
|Ex Prime Minister Imran Khan Speaking at the United Nations.
In his September 2021 speech at UNGA, Imran khan said that “the worst and most pervasive form” of Islamophobia “now rules India”. The “Hindutva ideology” being promoted by the Narendra Modi Government has unleashed “a reign of fear and violence” against India’s 200-million Muslims.
|India is the Largest Contributor to Islamophobia on Social Media. Source: TRT World
India has just 5.75% of global Twitter users but the country accounts for 55% of all anti-Muslim tweets, according to a recent report entitled "Islamophobia in the Digital Age" published by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). It also found that the US, the UK, and India contributed a staggering 86% of anti-Muslim content on Twitter during a three-year period. It should be noted that both the US and the UK have a sizable Indian diaspora infected by hateful Hindutva ideology.
The growing hate that Muslims face is not an isolated development, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told attendees at a a high-level March 10 event at the UN Headquarters in New York. “It is an inexorable part of the resurgence of ethno-nationalism, neo-Nazi white supremacist ideologies, and violence targeting vulnerable populations including Muslims, Jews, some minority Christian communities and others,” he said.
The UN HQ event was co-convened by Pakistan, whose Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, underscored that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and pluralism. Although Islamophobia is not new, he said it is “a sad reality of our times” that is only increasing and spreading.
“Since the tragedy of 9/11, animosity and institutional suspicion of Muslims and Islam across the world have only escalated to epidemic proportions. A narrative has been developed and peddled which associates Muslim communities and their religion with violence and danger,” said Mr. Zardari, who is also Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers. “This Islamophobic narrative is not just confined to extremist, marginal propaganda, but regrettably has found acceptance by sections of mainstream media, academia, policymakers and state machinery,” he added.
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