The Muslim world will observe The International Day to Combat Islamophobia on Tuesday to denounce the rise in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims and other minorities in the West, India and other parts of the world.
Pakistan will also join the Muslim world in observing the day as the country has emerged as one of the leading actors in raising its voice against Islamophobia.
The credit for introducing the day also goes to Pakistan as it had presented a resolution in this regard at the 47th session of foreign ministers of the nations forming the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council, held in Niamey, Niger in 2020.
Since then, the 57-member organisation has been working with the international community to commemorate the day.
Also read: OIC voices ‘deep concern’ over hijab ban, Islamophobic incidents in India
At the world platforms including the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has been calling the leaders to act against Islamophobia and “act collectively to counter growing phenomenon in non-Muslim states".
In the recent past, the prime minister welcomed Trudeau’s plan to appoint a special representative to combat Islamophobia, which he termed a “contemporary scourge”.
He also recently appreciated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “emphatic statement” that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to attempt to insult the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him).
Premier Imran has also regularly highlighted the appalling rise in Islamophobia and associated hatred in his addresses to the UN General Assembly, pointing towards its serious ramifications.
By observing the said global day, Islamabad will highlight the challenges that Islamophobia is posing to Muslims all over the world.
Also read: Islamophobia in Britain
Islamophobia has already led to negative profiling, mob lynching by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws, attacks on women wearing hijab, ban on minarets and attempts to link and equate Islam with terrorism.
The 48th session of foreign ministers of the OIC countries, to be held in Islamabad March 22-23, will present opportunities to discuss issues and extend cooperation.
For decades, Muslim communities – India’s largest minority group – have faced discrimination and are being victims of communal violence which have worsened under the Hindu nationalist BJP, particularly through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In a house of 543, there are 27 Muslim MPs in the Indian parliament. But none of them is from the BJP, which does have a handful of MPs in the upper house.
Similarly, Muslims have been the target of increasing Islamophobic attacks since the 9/11 terror attacks in the US and 7/7 terror attacks in the UK.
OIC countries must call upon all states to prevent any advocacy of religious discrimination, hostility or violence and defamation of Islam by incorporating legal and administrative measures, and credibly investigating attacks and hate crimes against Muslims and their places of worships.