United Nations (UN)’s International Day to Combat Islamophobia is annually observed across the globe on March 15 to fight Islamophobia.
- 15th March 2023 marks the observance of the 1st International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
Why March 15?
The day marks the incident when a gunman entered 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, murdering 51 people and injuring 40 others on 15th March 2019.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/76/254 on 15th March 2022 and proclaimed March 15 of every year as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
ii. On behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the resolution was introduced under the agenda item “Culture of Peace” by Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Ambassador.
i. Islamophobia is a fear, prejudice and hatred against the religion of Islam or Muslims.
ii. It leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims.
iii. It targets the symbols and indicators of being a Muslim and is motivated by institutional, intellectual, political, and religious animosity that extends into structural and cultural racism.
iv. A Working Definition of Islamophobia emphasises the connection between institutional levels of Islamophobia and Manifestations of such attitudes, which are triggered by the visibility of the victim’s perceived Muslim identity.
- According to this perspective, Islamophobia is a sort of racism in which Western ideals are regarded as being “threatened” by Islamic tradition, religion, and culture.
An epidemic of hatred:
i. According to the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Islamophobia has reached “epidemic proportions.”
ii. Institutional mistrust of Muslims and those believed to be Muslim has reached epidemic proportions in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001 and other horrifying acts of terrorism reportedly committed in the name of Islam.
- Muslims often experience discrimination when trying to acquire goods and services, get a job, or attend school in states where they are in the minority.
- They are denied citizenship or lawful immigration status in some states because of Xenophobic beliefs that Muslims represent national security and terrorism threats.
iii. Combating Islamophobia:
- Numerous governments have taken action to address Islamophobia by passing anti-hate-crime laws, implementing policies to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, and running public education programmes about Muslims and Islam to dispel negative stereotypes.
About the United Nations:
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA