India's Take On UN's 'International Day To Combat Islamophobia' Resolution
22nd Mar, 2022
Recently, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution, introduced by the Pakistan envoy, to proclaim March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
What Is Islamophobia?
- Islamophobia is an extreme fear of and hostility toward Islam and Muslims.
- It often leads to hate speech and hate crimes, social and political discrimination, can be used to rationalize policies such as mass surveillance, incarceration, and disenfranchisement, and can influence domestic and foreign policy.
About the resolution:
- The resolution was proposed by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and it was introduced by Pakistan's Permanent Representative Munir Akram and was adopted unanimously.
- The resolution was introduced on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, under the agenda item Culture of peace.
- The resolution was sponsored by 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and eight other countries including China and Russia.
India’s response at UNGA:
- India said at the United Nations General Assembly that the denouncement of bigotry should apply to all religions.
- France and the European Union took a position similar to India; expressing reservations that the resolution's call for tolerance was not inclusive of all believers, and went further to say that it should also include protection for non-believers.
- India did not oppose the resolution proposed by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
- India is concerned about elevating the phobia against one religion to the level of an international day, to the exclusion of all the others.
- Celebration of a religion is one thing, but to commemorate the combatting of hatred against one religion is quite another.
- India is proud that pluralism is at the core of our existence and we firmly believe in equal protection and promotion of all religions and faith.
- It is, therefore, unfortunate that word ‘pluralism’ finds no mention in the resolution and the sponsors have not found it fit to take on board our amendments to include the word “pluralism” in the text for reasons best known to them.
- India condemns all acts motivated by antisemitism, Christianophobia, or Islamophobia. But it should be recognized that such phobias are not restricted to Abrahamic religions only.
- There is also hatred against non-Abrahamic religions.
- Several examples were given in this regard, such as the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban, massacre of Sikh pilgrims in gurudwara, attack on temples, etc.
- There are other forms of religiophobia such as anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias.
- Thus, there is a need to acknowledge the prevalence of religiophobia in general, rather than single out phobia against one particular religion.