Srinagar: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday urged the UN Secretary General to convene a special session of the UN General Assembly to declare Islamophobia as a form of racism and to assign a special rapporteur for monitoring and combating the menace in the western countries.
The Emergency Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee, convened in Istanbul, also strongly condemned the “horrendous and despicable Islamophobic terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand”.
The meeting concluded with a unanimous call that the OIC must play a proactive role in countering demonisation and denigration of Islam and Muslims and adopt a comprehensive strategy in this regard, Radio Pakistan reported.
A final communiqué, issued at the conclusion of the conference, appreciated the New Zealand government for its unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks. It called upon all member states to respect the freedom of religion of all Muslims and not to deny them the right to exercise their civil and cultural rights.
All presumptions of guilt or attributions of potential crimes, extremism and terrorism to ordinary Muslims were also firmly rejected.
Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while addressing the gathering, expressed Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the March 15 terrorist attacks that killed at least 50 Muslims offering Friday prayers at two Christchurch mosques. Nine of the martyred were Pakistani citizens.
He lauded the valour of Naeem Rashid, who challenged the white supremacist attacker in complete disregard of his own life and aimed to saving the lives of many others, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.