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The Islamic Republic of Pakistan views the growing irrational and powerful fear of Islam and its followers (otherwise known as “Islamophobia”) to be one of the greatest threats and encumbrances of peace and development for Islamic nations and their people. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has watched in horror, as opinion and respect for the Islamic faith has been tainted and tarnished by terrorist groups and anti-Muslim propagandist. In September of 2012, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly stating “Although we can never condone violence, the international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression.”1 Pakistan believes that the concept of Islamophobia became most prevalent during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the West. Pakistan (along with the OIC and many of its allies in the 47-nation council) label criticism of the Muslim practices and linking of terrorism waged under the proclaimed banner of Islamism as “Islamophobia” that pillories all Muslims,2 permitting others to make incorrect assumptions about the Islamic faith based upon the imprudent acts of some groups of Islamic followers.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan strongly believes that Islamophobia is primarily sparked by ignorance. Noting the power that social media holds in the modern world, Pakistan proposes that a social media campaign be launched by the United Nations and the OIC that promotes the ending of Islamophobia and allows the world to be exposed to the true intensions and beliefs of Muslims in a positive fashion. Pakistan would also like to propose the drafting of a resolution that promotes the eradication of religious intolerance and systematically implements policies that are aimed at the education of people on religious tolerance and the elimination of gender and religion based stereotypes and discrimination. Through the creation of a supportive dialogue and political engagement between the different societal groups and peoples, Islamophobia can truly be jettisoned. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan would also like its fellow United Nations member states to keep in mind A/RES/61/164 which currently regards the issue of religious intolerance3, and consider strengthening the merit and importance of this resolution since its approval in February of 2007.
According to Egyptian scholar Sa’d a-din Ibrahim, more damage and devastation has been inflicted upon the Middle East by religious and ethnic conflict than by all of the Arab-Israeli wars combined4. The amount of ethnic and religious minority tolerance by OIC member states (and the conflicts that stem from such intolerance) is a dour concern for Pakistan. Pakistan fully apprehends the innumerable amount of factors that contribute to this issue, ranging from ideology to regional environments; and Pakistan believes that more efforts must be made on the behalf of the international community to achieve lasting peace among the populations of the Muslim world. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan also believes that though OIC member states have agreed that everyone has a claim to rights and equal treatment on multiple platforms (i.e. in the drafting of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam [principally Article I (a)])5, the opinion is not self-evident within many of the nations. Pakistan believes that the Egyptian Copts, Israeli Arabs, Turkish Kurds, Palestinian Jordanians, Algerian Berbers, Saudi Shia Muslims, Assyrian Christians, Turkmens, and Yazidis face the most significant amount of hostility amidst the minorities in OIC member states (hence, Pakistan wishes to implement diplomacies that will principally target these aforementioned groups).
Pakistan notes the multitude of regulations that have been drafted by the OIC that aim to improve the well-being of Muslim minorities living in non-Muslim states; and trusts that if similar regulations are drafted and passed that support the well-being of the ill-treated ethnic and religious minorities in the committee’s member states, much of the current conflict can be peacefully abridged.
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