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Pakistan Leads Global Observance of International Day to Combat Islamophobia

Today, the world observes the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, a day that resonates with significance for 140 countries worldwide. This day, March 15, was chosen to commemorate the tragic Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, where 51 innocent lives were lost during Friday prayers.

The United Nations General Assembly is holding its 62nd plenary today to mark this important occasion. Representing Pakistan at this global gathering is the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram. He is set to deliver a statement that will echo Pakistan’s commitment to combating Islamophobia and promoting religious tolerance.

The resolution to observe a day against Islamophobia was introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It was unanimously adopted by the 193-member world body on March 15, 2022, and co-sponsored by 55 predominantly Muslim countries. This initiative underscores Pakistan’s leadership role in advocating for the rights and dignity of Muslims worldwide.

In tandem with the UN gathering, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) is spearheading a nationwide campaign today to raise awareness and foster solidarity against discrimination targeting Muslims. The PUC has long been at the forefront of advocating for religious tolerance and understanding, making this day of significant importance for the council.

PUC Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has urged religious scholars and leaders from all schools of thought to utilize their Friday sermons to highlight the significance of the day and emphasize the importance of religious diversity. The council’s initiative aims to dispel misconceptions, foster dialogue, and promote mutual understanding among different faith communities.

Ashrafi underscored the alarming rise of Islamophobia as a global threat to Muslims. He emphasized that it is the collective responsibility of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other international entities to spearhead initiatives aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination. The council’s commitment to combating discrimination aligns with the fundamental principles of human rights and religious freedom enshrined in international law.

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