ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations General Assembly to declare an ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’ and build a resilient coalition to end the scourge.
Virtually addressing the meeting of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, he also called for declaring willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence as universally outlawed.
The foreign minister said that enormity of this problem continued to grow, partly by a rise in populism, and partly by mainstreaming of contempt through unregulated social media platforms.
He said freedom of expression did not grant the freedom to insult or hurt others. He said most worrisome was the state sponsorship of violence on the basis of religion or belief.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said today Islamophobia was unmistakable in the manifestos of far-right and neo-fascist parties. He said while the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations had done commendable work over the years, its job was far from over.
“The sounds of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ still reverberate and we are witnessing global resurgence in intolerance, discrimination, racism, hate speech and violence on the basis of religious beliefs. Pakistan remains committed to promoting religious tolerance, understanding and cooperation at home and abroad.
“A recent manifestation of this commitment is the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, the world’s largest Gurdwara, allowing easy access to our Sikh brothers from the neighborhood and all across the world to practice their religious rites,” he said.