United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has recently adopted March 15 as ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’ and released a draft document on behalf of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
GS-II: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Dimensions of the Article
- What is Islamophobia?
- Why has it become prominent?
- Concessions made by OIC
- India’s Stand
- Why an improvement is needed in India’s Stand?
- European Union’s Stand
- China’s Position
- Way Forward
What is Islamophobia?
- Islamophibia refers to the negative perception and stereotyping of the followers of Islam because of their faith.
- Islam is considered a highly orthodox religion by many which condones violence and violation of human rights.
- This is heavily opposed by the OIC.
Why has it become prominent?
- Al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 and other terrorist attacks by radical Islamist organizations have casted doubt over the religious beliefs.
- Suicide Bombings and the concept of Jihad has been understood with link to tenets of Islam.
- Political benefits too at times have exacerbated the Islamophobia.
- However, OIC has repeatedly said that these doings are not what Islam teaches.
Concession by OIC
- OIC accepted the resolution under the previous framework which sought to promote tolerance, prevent discrimination and promote social harmony.
- Accepted the call for dialogue based on respect for human rights and diversified religious beliefs.
- High Visibility events were discarded and only March 15th was adopted for an annual event.
- India did not break consensus and hence accepted the resolution.
- Criticized the resolution because of its emphasis on Islam and not other religions where people face similar stereotyping and persecution.
- India’s historical record of accepting religious refugees was brought to light.
- India did condemn Islamophobia along with other religions.
Why an improvement is needed in India’s Stand?
- Pluralistic Society of India does not concern with Islamophobia since Muslims form an integral part of India.
- India’s vision with the ideology of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’ echoes India’s ruling dispensation’s inclusive nature which includes Muslims.
- Focus on a single religion could make divisive camps based on religious identity.
European Union’s Stand
- EU focused on individual rights and freedoms and not on protection of religion.
- Focused of rights of non-believers.
- Changing of religion was too considered by the EU.
- OIC did not call out China for persecuting the Uighurs.
- Islamabad Declaration too did not have any mention of China.
- China sponsored the resolution.
Islamophobia needs to be addressed but its also important that simila protection is provided to other religions as well as the non-believers. Orthodoxy needs to be shed and religion should be made a private affair. Inclusive growth potential can’t be achieved by treading the divisive line along religion.
Source – The Hindu