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26 Sep, 2019

Indonesia calls for end to anti-Muslim hatred, incitement at OIC meeting

Jakarta (ANTARA) 25 Sept 2019 – Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, chairperson of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Working Group meeting for Peace and Dialogue, highlighted the need to put a stop to hatred against Islam.

“The trends of hatred, fanaticism, and intolerance against Islam continue to rise. The political rhetoric that hate Muslim groups, which contradicts the values of democracy and pluralistic values, is increasingly concerning,” Minister Marsudi noted in a written statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and received here on Wednesday.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaking at a media briefing on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, the United States, on Monday (September 23, 2019). (Indonesia’s MoFA)

Marsudi made the statement in her remarks while chairing the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, 2019.

The OIC Working Group was organized to ratify the draft of Plan of Action on Combating Islamophobia, Religious Discrimination, Intolerance and Hatred towards Muslims 2020–23.

The draft was discussed and agreed at the first meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue in Jakarta on July 29-30, 2019.

The OIC countries laud Indonesia’s leadership and initiatives in hosting the first meeting of the OIC Contact Group.

“The Plan of Action document is utilized as a reference for OIC’s voluntary actions and works in overcoming Islamophobia in the world today,” Marsudi stated.

Indonesia’s initiative stemmed from its concern over rising violence fueled by primordial sentiments, including the tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand.

She affirmed that the ratification of the Plan of Action by the OIC will carry two substantial messages, one being the importance of consolidating the Muslim community to uphold Islamic values related to peace and tolerance.

Minister Marsudi highlighted that the leaders of Islamic communities must be vociferous and decisive in their fight against acts committed by radical groups on the pretext of Islam.

“We, the leaders of Islamic countries, must ensure there is no room for radical groups in our society,” she remarked.

The Indonesian finance minister also highlighted another substantial message that Islamic nations should promote the value of “rahmatan lil-alamin,” grace for the surroundings, as the true face of Islam to the world.

Minister Marsudi reiterated that Islamic nations must boldly echo the message that terrorism and extremism are in no way linked to religion and any teachings of Islam. OIC nations should promote harmony among civilizations, both at OIC and other multilateral forums.

“The OIC countries must promote the true values of Islam in every space and in this UN Headquarter building,” she stated in her concluding remarks.

Marsudi, along with the OIC secretary general, chaired the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of 19 OIC members at the contact group. Establishment of the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue (CG-PD) is in line with President Joko Widodo’s initiative that was proposed when Indonesia had hosted the OIC Emergency Summit on Al-qudsh Assyarif in Jakarta in 2016.

The Contact Group was authorized by the OIC by virtue of decision of the OIC Ministerial-Level Conference in Abu Dhabi in March 2019 and the OIC Summit in Mecca in May 2019.

Reporter: Yashinta Difa, Yuni Arisandy

Editor: Rahmad Nasution