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International Day against Islamophobia unworthy: India tells UN

International Day against Islamophobia unworthy: India tells UN

United Nations: When the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Tuesday to name March 15 International Day to Combat Islamophobia, India responded that it is not worth elevating phobia over one religion to an international day when anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias are prevailing, PTI reported.

The UN assembly adopted the resolution introduced by the Pakistan ambassador Munir Akram under the agenda item Culture of peace. Sponsored by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the resolution was co-sponsored by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti said that such a resolution might set a precedent, leading to multiple resolutions on phobias based on particular religions, dividing the UN into religious camps. The adoption of August 22, in 2019, as the International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, is fully inclusive enough, while we also have November 16 as International Day of Tolerance, he said. Instead of concentrating on a single religion, 'religiophobia' is what needs to be acknowledged. United Nations must remain above such religious matters, which might divide the UN, and treat the world as one family.

"In fact, there is clear evidence that over decades such religiophobias have, in fact, affected the followers of non-Abrahamic religions as well. This has contributed to the emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias," he said. There were incidents of destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban, violation of gurudwara premises, the massacre of Sikh pilgrims in gurudwara, attack on temples, glorification of breaking of idols in temples, he said.

The new resolution downplays the seriousness of phobias against all other religions, he said. He said India is proud that pluralism is at the core of its existence. But the sponsors of the resolution forgot to mention "pluralism" in it, which was unfortunate.

Further, he expressed his deep concerns over the discrimination, intolerance and violence faced by many other religious communities worldwide.

Meanwhile, France also submitted its response aligning

with Tirumurti. "Must we expect the creation of days dedicated to each religion, to each degree of belief or non-belief. There may not be enough days in the year to satisfy all these demands," France's envoy Nicolas de Riviere said.

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TAGS:UN General Assembly#IslamophobiaIndia
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