Sunday March 24, 2019
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on the UN and
other regional and international organizations to declare March 15 an
international solidarity day against Islamophobia.The final communique called on the UN Secretary General to convene a
special session of the General Assembly to declare Islamophobia as a
form of racism and appoint a special rapporteur on combating this
This demand was made during an emergency open-ended meeting of the
Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers on Friday in
Istanbul, Turkey, to discuss the terrorist attack against more than 50
Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
It requested the OIC chief to communicate with concerned UN mechanisms
in order to expand the scope of Resolution 1267 on sanctions, so that it
includes individuals and entities associated with extremist racist
The organization called on the UN Human Rights Commissioner to establish
an observatory for Islamophobia and religious violence against Muslims.
The statement pointed to the UN’s need to engage with social media
platforms to take institutional and technical measures to block any
content inciting violence and hatred against Muslims.
It also hailed New Zealand’s government for condemning the terrorist
attack on the two mosques, especially the firm stance taken by the
country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“If hate speech is not curbed urgently and effectively, chaos will
strike stable countries and terrorize peaceful people,” OIC Secretary
General Yousef al-Othaimeen said in his opening speech.
“According to the reports of the OIC Islamophobia Observatory, hatred
and intolerance against Islam have, in the last few years, reached an
alarming level with growing frequency.”
He stressed that hate speech based on far-right ideology targets not
only Islam and Muslims but also Western liberal democracies.
“This terrorist incident has sent a powerful message to the world and to
us all that hate speech, intolerance and Islamophobia are a clear
danger that threatens the security of stable communities, and that this
incident shows that terrorism has no religion, race or nationality,”
In this context, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the
perpetrator of the mosque attacks will face the most severe punishment
and “will spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement.”
Speaking at the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
called for taking measures against increasing racist campaigns and
attacks on Islam.
“No religion or belief can be defined by violence and terror,” Cavusoglu said.