The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has decided to designate March 15 as the "International Day to Combat Islamophobia" each year.
The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) has passed a resolution in this respect in their meeting in Niamey, Niger.
Pakistan had introduced the resolution which expresses concern that Islamophobia, as a contemporary form of racism and religious discrimination, was on the rise.
The Resolution, passed unanimously, expresses concern that Islamophobia, as a contemporary form of racism and religious discrimination, was on the rise.
"It also expresses deep concern at the recent incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran and reprinting of caricatures of the Holy Prophet which hurt sentiments of more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world," the statement said.
The Resolution decided to designate 15 March as the "International Day to Combat Islamophobia" each year. It authorized the OIC Permanent Missions in New York to jointly table a Resolution in the UN General Assembly, calling for the establishment of this day.
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who led Pakistan's delegation to the CFM, said that adoption of the Resolution was a reflection of the sentiments of billions of Muslims who respected other religions and expected similar respect for Islam and the Holy Prophet.
Islamophobia is a rising trend, Turkish FM says
Speaking at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Niger's capital Niamey, Mevlut Çavuşoğlu pointed out the rising trend of Islamophobic, racist and anti-migrant discourse, especially in Europe.
"However, migrants and Muslims continue to contribute to their communities. A recent example is the development of the COVID-19 vaccine by two Turks living in Germany," he said, referring to scientists Uğur Şahin and Özlem Tureci.
Saying that Europe lacks visionary leaders and that some of the current ones even dare to reform Islam, he pointed out that the peace and well-being of millions of Muslims in the West are being threatened under the guise of counter-terrorism.
As an example, Çavuşoğlu recalled how French police officers arrested children and held them for over 11 hours in Albertville, France on false allegations of "apology of terrorism."
"We must be awake to this dangerous rhetoric and actions and we should send a clear message regarding our red lines," he added.
Noting a growing misperception that the Palestinian issue is no longer at the top of OIC countries' agenda, Çavuşoğlu warned that Palestine's enemies could take advantage of the situation if member states do not strengthen their unity.
"If we cannot unite on the cause that lies at the foundation of this organization, how can we defend the unity of Ummah [or Muslim communities] who will take our word seriously?" he added.
Çavuşoğlu stressed the need to speak up for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Uyghurs, Rohingyas, Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Muslim minority in Greece, the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Muslims in Europe and the rest of the world.
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