Pak­istan calls for in­ter­na­tional ac­tion to com­bat Is­lam­o­pho­bia

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan has called for ac­tion to com­bat the forces of Is­lam­o­pho­bia and warned that if timely steps are not taken to check this dis­turb­ing trend, it could threaten re­gional and global peace and se­cu­rity.

Speak­ing at an event or­ga­nized at the UN by Pak­istan Mis­sion and the OIC on "Coun­ter­ing Xeno­pho­bia through In­ter­faith Co­op­er­a­tion", Am­bas­sador Maleeha Lodhi said that Is­lam­o­pho­bic acts are un­for­tu­nately hap­pen­ing in coun­tries, which are the tra­di­tional cham­pi­ons of hu­man rights and hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism. She re­gret­ted that some un­prin­ci­pled politi­cians in the West have sought to build their political for­tunes by spread­ing fear and xeno­pho­bia - promis­ing to build walls against mi­grants; bar- ring refugees, even wid­ows and or­phans; threat­en­ing to ban the ad­her­ents of a spe­cific re­li­gion from en­try to their coun­tries' shores. Un­for­tu­nately, she said, this cam­paign of hate and prej­u­dice has re­ceived a fil­lip from ig­no­rant Western me­dia por­tray­als of Mus­lims.

Ini­ti­at­ing the dis­cus­sion, as the or­ga­nizer of the event, Am­bas­sador Lodhi said that the pur­pose of the event- dur­ing a week at the UN, de­voted to In­ter­faith Har­mony - was to high­light the con­cern of Pak­istan and OIC coun­tries over cer­tain re­cent de­vel­op­ments which pose a dan­ger to such har­mony, to so­cial co­he­sion and to the ob­ser­vance of hu­man rights and hu­man­i­tar­ian norms.

The in­stances of insults against Is­lam and Mus­lims are now le­gion, she said. Is­lam has been called un­speak­able names; minarets have been por­trayed as mis­siles. Th­ese have not been empty insults, Am­bas­sador Lodhi said, adding, "Ex­pres­sions of such hate and prej­u­dice have pro­voked phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal vi­o­lence against Mus­lims and their busi­nesses, mosques and com­mu­nity cen­ters in some coun­tries". "Al­most all Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties have been sub­jected to such in­tol­er­ance. Many live in fear. Their alien­ation ex­pands the di­vide be­tween faiths and cul­tures within and among na­tions". In her ad­dress Am­bas­sador Lodhi quoted Pres­i­dent Obama who ac­knowl­edged dur­ing his visit to a mosque ear­lier this week, that "an at­tack on one faith is an at­tack on all our faiths.

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