Towards a World Day for Combating Islamophobia

Towards a World Day for Combating Islamophobia

By H.E. Dr. Habib El Malki, President of the 14th PUIC Conference, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco

 

In Rabat, and on 17th July, 2019, at the opening of the proceedings of the Third Extraordinary Meeting of the PUIC Executive Committee, I did not hesitate, in front of my brothers and colleagues, members of the Committee, to propose working and coordinating with the United Nations and its parallel organizations, and concerned bodies, and organs, primarily the UNESCO, in order to adopt a World Day, For Combating Islamophobia (Fear from Islam), as well as all forms of bigotry, hatred, racism, violence and exclusion directed against male and female Muslims in the world, and even against others including People of the Book and followers of other beliefs and religions.

Undoubtedly, this idea will offer us and the civilized world, an occasion for collective mobilization, through which we address our friends and allies in parliamentary and non – parliamentary fora and gatherings, and all justice – loving forces and personalities, who advocate values of tolerance, openness, peace, civilizational and ideological dialogue, and dialogue among cultures and languages. The aim is to motivate parliaments, governments, civil society constituents, thought makers, creativity producers and arts, media, communication and information personnel, in order to confront kinds of dark thinking, shallow discourse, ignorant information that ignores the values of harmony; diversity; meaning of residing on Earth; and sharing the principles of human life with a spirit of coexistence; brotherhood; friendship; recognition; rapprochement; solidarity; understanding and sympathy.

I may not need, in an introductory paper like this, to linger much on the concept of Islamophobia, which simply means all kinds of intimidation or fear of Islam, as well as various expressions and practices which are prejudicial to Islam and hate-mongering against Muslims. Furthermore, they establish about our tolerant Islamic religion preconceived ideas and meaningless sentiments of hatred, animosity and vilification, which are devoid of any objective motivation. As stated by the Swedish researcher Mathias Gardelle (specialist in comparative religions discipline) that deeply, Islamophobia is nothing but “a social reproduction of fear and prejudice against Islam and Muslims, including practices which aimed at attacking or discriminating against persons or excluding them on the basis of assuming their connection to Islam of Muslim. “

Today, this concept has a history of accumulation and usages. It also entered into most world dictionaries and encyclopedias, with almost the same open spirit. Fortunately, the materials on Islamophobia in those dictionaries and encyclopedias have been edited by credible great intellectuals and thinkers who were keen on making the contemporary world stand in the face of this new racist epidemic.

In fact, numerous male and female thinkers of the Islamic world, from different Muslim countries, writing and thinking in different languages, have not remained idle vis-a- vis this blind, strong and open enmity towards Islam and Muslims in the world, especially in countries of the Western World.

Our initiative, In the PUIC, does not come from void. But it supports this ideological and ethical accumulation which have been launched by thought makers and decision makers in our contemporary world, whether at the United Nations or at the levels of UNESCO or ISESCO, ALESCO and Inter Arab Parliamentary Union, as well as other organizations and unions. Here, we only enhance the ideological, ethical and institutional gains which have been made up to now by sensible and sagacious people of the world in opposition to preconceived expressions, sentiments and thoughts which run counter to Islam, as a belief, civilization, cultural plurality and linguistic richness.

In concluding this brief article, I have to recall what the late Kofi Anan stated in 2004, when he stressed the necessity of beginning to confront the phenomenon of Islamophobia by “according the necessary importance to reformulate and define this concept” in order for us to be able to unify our rhetoric and thoughts, coordinate our efforts on a clear basis and a concrete roadmap which integrate all wills and initiatives that love peace, justice, equality, brotherhood, compassion, tolerance, openness, moderation and shrewdness.

Let us start, therefore, from where we should start. We ought to enhance the positive accumulation which has been achieved. We should all seek to establish and adopt a World Day for Combating Islamophobia; a confrontation which we should place, as of now, the table and agenda of the contemporary world.

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