Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to Human Rights Council: Islamophobia is a Result of Structural Discrimination Stemming from Negative Stereotypes

0 0

Source UN HRC Posted 4 Mar 2021

FEED THE POOR

Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

The Human Rights Council this morning started an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on his report on countering Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred to eliminate discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief. The Council also concluded the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt.

Ahmad Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, highlighted that expressions of discrimination, hostility and violence motivated by anti-Muslim bias were serious obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights. The dangers of Islamophobia were manifested through violent attacks against Muslims across the globe, with the majority of the human rights violations often gaining little media attention. Entrenched and widespread essentialisations that depicted Muslims as cultural “others” validated discrimination. Evidence gathered for the report made clear that Islamophobia was a function of structural discrimination stemming from negative stereotypes. The report recalled State duties under international law to eliminate all forms of discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief and emphasised a human rights response to Islamophobia.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers expressed concern about the alarming rise of Islamophobic incidents in a number of countries, in the form of online hate, restrictions, exclusion and governmental persecutions, as well as the stigmatisation of Muslim women. Policies aimed at fighting anti-Muslim hatred must be an integral part of promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, and involve efforts in the areas of teaching, education, media platforms, integration, social inclusion policies, employment and non-discrimination. After 9/11, Islamophobia had become more pervasive and systematic, infringing on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Muslims around the world. The surge in anti-Muslim hatred bore deep imprints of an ‘imperialist mindset’, and the State-sponsorship of an entire Islamophobic ecosystem had emerged as a disturbing contemporary reality.

Speaking were Canada, European Union, Pakistan on behalf of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Brazil on behalf of a group of countries, Iceland on behalf of Nordic and Baltic countries, Libya on behalf of the Group of Arab States, Qatar, Israel, Greece, Jordan, Malaysia, Slovenia, State of Palestine, France, Sovereign Order of Malta, Togo, Libya, Russian Federation, Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Netherlands, Venezuela, India, Morocco, Iran, Malta, United States of America, Egypt, Bahrain, Senegal, Cameroon, Nepal, Algeria, China, Croatia, Albania, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Italy, Poland, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Fiji, United Kingdom, Sudan, Cuba, Turkey, Bangladesh, Ireland, Georgia, Bulgaria, Holy See, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Cambodia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Mauritania, Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Eritrea.

The following civil society organizations also took the floor: World Jewish Congress, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and International Fellowship of

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Report

The Council has before it the report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief A/HRC/46/30 on countering Islamophobia/anti-Muslim hatred to eliminate discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief

Support Islam Religion Guardian
At the present time, we are running on very limited funds. In order for us to run Islam Religion Guardian service efficiently, we are in need of your generous support.

Presentation of Report

AHMAD SHAHEED, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, highlighted that expressions of discrimination, hostility and violence motivated by anti-Muslim bias were serious obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights. The dangers of Islamophobia were manifested through violent attacks against Muslims across the globe, with the majority of the human rights violations often gaining little media attention. Entrenched and widespread essentialisations that depicted Muslims as cultural “others” validated discrimination. The report confirmed the alarming rise of right-wing extremist groups that peddled conspiracy theories about Muslims and that increasingly transcended borders by propagating hate online. This extended to media, academia, schools, healthcare settings and parliamentary bodies, with Muslim men cast as violent and sexist, while Muslim women oscillated between victims in need of rescue and terrorists hidden behind a veil.

Evidence gathered for this report made clear that Islamophobia was a function of structural discrimination stemming from negative stereotypes. The report recalled State duties under international law to eliminate all forms of discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief and emphasised a human rights response to Islamophobia. Nothing in the report suggested that the high threshold to impose limits on free speech should be lowered. To operationalise the human rights duties of States, Mr. Shaheed offered several practical recommendations to States, civil society, the media and Internet companies, employers and the United Nations system to work with Muslims, rather than on Muslims, to address and mitigate the impacts of Islamophobia. In a world of intensifying bigotry against all who were ‘different’ from the preferred norms of the powerful, everyone must hold accountable those who sought to divide, and affirm the equality of all regardless of their religion or belief.

Interactive Discussion

In the discussion, speakers expressed concern about the alarming rise of Islamophobic incidents in a number of countries in the form of online hate, restrictions, exclusion and governmental persecution, as well as the stigmatisation of Muslim women. Policies aimed at fighting anti-Muslim hatred must be an integral part of promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, and involve efforts in the areas of teaching, education, media platforms, integration, social inclusion policies, employment and non-discrimination. After 9/11, Islamophobia had become more pervasive and systematic, infringing on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Muslims around the world. The surge in anti-Muslim hatred bore deep imprints of an ‘imperialist mindset’, and the State-sponsorship of an entire Islamophobic ecosystem had emerged as a disturbing contemporary reality. Unregulated social media platforms had further amplified and reinforced negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of MusliMs. How could Member States collaborate more closely to combat Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred on the international stage? A definition and a legally binding agreement on Islamophobia were needed in times when the human rights of Muslims were violated on a daily level. There were explicit policies and laws in place in some countries targeting Muslims because of their religion, and the situation of women was particularly concerning.

Interim Remarks

AHMAD SHAHEED, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, stressed that the perceived conflict between freedom of expression and discrimination was a fake one, and the report was not about the cartoons. Hateful discourse became hateful when there was inequality involved and it was used to dehumanise other people. The problem was not defining Islamophobia, the problem was defining and countering violent extremism as it was done in such a broad and vague manner. Strong, non-discriminative provisions needed to be incorporated within the countering of violent extremism policies as well.

Interactive Discussion

Speakers highlighted national measures that their countries had instituted to protect Muslim minority communities, such as promoting interfaith dialogues. What could the Council do to help States ensure that both secular and religious cultures could co-exist and thrive? The rise of Islamophobic rhetoric wrongly considered Islam as a political ideology that was dangerous to Western civilization, a point of view that ignored the cultural and scientific contributions to humanity by Islamic civilizations throughout history. Other speakers noted that it was important to strike a balance between security and freedom of religion. The report did not adequately consider the overall context of persecution of all persons of faith; limiting the topic to one particular group risked being divisive, facilitating a we-vs-them mentality and creating more conflict. The campaign against Islamophobia would be more effective if Muslims, Christians, Jews and other religious communities united to fight religious discrimination together. Speakers noted that anti-Muslim discrimination was often insidious and took the guise of anti-terrorism measures. Speakers called for the release of all conscientious objectors.

HRC21.026E

source and more: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/special-rapporteur-freedom-religion-or-belief-human-rights-council-islamophobia-result

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Islamreligionguardian We would like to show you notifications for the latest news and updates.
Dismiss
Allow Notifications