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10 Mar, 2017

OIC Secretary-General: Islamophobia is gradually becoming institutionalized

Geneva, 01 March 2013, (OIC) – The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen has expressed his serious concern that Islamophobia, an affront to human rights and dignity of Muslims, is gradually becoming institutionalized.

Al-Othaimeen who sounded the warning in a remark at the High Level Segment of the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Wednesday, 1 March 2017, noted that the rise in religious hatred and resultant religious extremism particularly Muslim discrimination has reached alarming levels.

The OIC Secretary General added that blanket restriction and discriminatory policies have been imposed on Muslims based on their religion.

“Far-right politics is on the rise, strengthening the narrative of “us” against “them”,” said Al-Othaimeen.

“This is a scary scenario for an intolerant world that none of us would like our children to live in. We, therefore, need to play our role. OIC is committed to play its part,” he added.

The OIC Secretary General also cited another worst form of Islamophobia, which is witnessed in the treatment of Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar adding that the recent report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirms the OIC’s concerns and describes in graphic details the human rights violations being committed against Rohingya.

He therefore restated his call on the Myanmar Government to ensure protection of the right to life and well-being of its Rohingya population.

Al-Othaimeen additionally highlighted the worsening situation in Palestine and urged the International Community including the Human Rights Council to stand united in denouncing the Israeli action to legalize its settlements, its attack on the principle of Two-States solution and its apartheid policies.

He also urged the Human Rights Council to address the plight of Kashmiri people, Muslims in Syria and Central African Republic, adding that the UN remains the best hope to address the myriad of challenges faced by the humanity in the fields of peace, security, human rights and development.

During his visit to Geneva, the OIC Secretary General held meetings with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, H.E Dr. Riad Al-Maliki; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire, H.E. Mr. Marcel AmonTanoh, and Permanent Representative of Switzerland, H.E. Mr. Valentin Zellwege.

Al-Othaimeen also addressed the OIC Ambassadorial Group in Geneva.