Saudi Arabia presses for tolerance as Islamophobia soars
Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, on Wednesday, said that “unfortunately, Islamophobia is pervasive almost everywhere,”, to a high-level international meeting.
The meeting was organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as a mark of the first International Day to Combat Islamophobia. As an answer to surge in hate crimes and other attacks targeting Muslims worldwide, the international body adopted a resolution last year, in November, calling for March 15 as a day to bring the issue to light.
A total population of 1.8 billion people form up fifty-seven countries that are members of the OIC. They also include some, in South America and West Africa, that are not Muslim-majority nations. “Social media, disinformation and hate speech campaigns have made Islamophobia very hard to eradicate and address,” said Al-Mouallimi, who pressed that based on faith, any threat to the freedom of a single community is a threat to religious freedoms of all.
Not only the media perpetuates Muslim stereotypes via a very “disproportionate” focus on the actions of people who are “perceived to be Muslims,” he said, it plays a very active role in the spread of hatred. He asked the international community to join forces to address this threat.
On behalf of Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Kingdom’s foreign minister, Al-Mouallimi spoke of the “Charter of Makkah,” and cited it which says that “philosophies and religions are exonerated from the sins done by their claimants and adherents,” and that “actual understanding of Islam needs an objective view that is away from stereotypical and prejudicial notions.”
The charter, that Muslim World League adopted in the Holy City, in May 2019, is a pan-Islamic set of principles that is aimed to counter extremism, cultural diversity and religious intolerance. It is also in support legislation against hate and violence