Wed 15-03-2023 17:02 PM
NEW YORK, 15th March, 2023 (WAM) – The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, has emphasised that Islam's message of peace, compassion, and grace has inspired people worldwide for over a millennium. In his statement on the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, which is observed on March 15, Guterres called for attention and action to eliminate the poison of anti-Muslim hatred.
Guterres noted that nearly two billion Muslims worldwide reflect humanity's diversity, but they often face bigotry and prejudice because of their faith. Muslims experience personal attacks, hateful rhetoric, scapegoating, institutional discrimination, and stigmatization. Guterres also highlighted the triple discrimination Muslim women face due to their gender, ethnicity, and faith.
He further explained that the growing hatred Muslims face is 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. Discrimination diminishes us all, and it is incumbent on everyone to stand up against it, he stressed.
To strengthen defences against discrimination, Guterres called for policies that fully respect human rights and protect religious and cultural identities. He also urged the recognition of diversity as a richness and increased investments in social cohesion to confront bigotry.
The UN chief emphasised that every great faith and tradition summons the imperatives of tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding. At the core of the quest for justice, human rights, and peace are universal values that animate the United Nations Charter. He concluded by urging people to strive to realize these values and counter the forces of division by reaffirming their common humanity, not only on the International Day to Combat Islamophobia but every day.