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 International Day to Combat Islamophobia

Context:

The United Nations General Assembly recently passed a resolution declaring March 15th as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

  • Pakistan presented the resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Despite the resolution’s passage at the UNGA, India has raised a number of concerns.
Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Details of the Resolution
  2. India’s Stand

Details of the Resolution

  • The 193-member world body accepted the resolution by consensus, with 55 countries, mostly Muslim, cosponsoring it.
  • All governments, UN bodies, international and regional organisations, civil society, the commercial sector, and faith-based organisations are urged to “organise and support various high-visibility activities aimed at effectively spreading awareness of Islamophobia at all levels.”
  • The resolution highlights the right to freedom of religion and belief, recalling a 1981 resolution that called for “the abolition of all kinds of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.”

India’s Stand

  • India raised worry over one religion’s phobia being elevated to the status of a worldwide day, claiming that current forms of religiophobia, particularly anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, and anti-Sikh phobias, are on the rise.
  • It further stated that the term “pluralism” is absent from the resolution.
  • India believes that the adopted resolution “does not set a precedent” that will lead to many resolutions on phobias based on chosen religions, dividing the UN into religious factions.
  • In international law, there is no agreed-upon definition of Islamophobia, which is in violation of religious and belief freedom.
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October 2022
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