Zarif urges Muslims' unity in face of growing Islamophobia

TEHRAN, Mar. 18 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlighted the need to uproot extremism within the Islamic world and a consolidated and integrated confrontation with the growing Islamophobia in the West.

Zarif made the remarks at the high-ranking officials' meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was held in New York via videoconference on Wednesday, to discuss the issue of Islamophobia.

During the session, Zarif, as the first speaker, expounded on the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of Islamophobia and the need for the global confrontation with it.

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Here is the full text of his speech:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure to participate in this high‐level event to commemorate the first ever “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”. Today’s meeting demonstrates the strength of our determination to effectively address Islamophobia as one of the main challenges of the Islamic Ummah.

I would also like to seize this opportunity to highlight the OIC’s objectives in protecting the true image of Islam, promoting values of peaceful co-existence as well as encouraging interfaith and intercultural dialogue as an effective and valuable mechanism to combat all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, Islamophobia, extremism and incitement to hatred based on religion.

Mr. Chairman,

The growing trend in intolerance and prejudice against Islam and Muslims in various parts of the world is a daunting challenge. Over the last few decades, an alarming network of anti-Muslim media outlets disguised as news platforms along with a plethora of hate groups masquerading as think tanks and even civic groups promoting a hostile and abusive environment against Muslims have emerged in the West. It is high time for Western leaders to condemn hate speech and acts of hate against Muslims and take the necessary measures to prevent this violation of basic human rights of Muslims.

It is imperative for the Islamic Ummah to unite against attempts at embracing Islamophobia, including through such measures as the Muslim travel ban, banning Muslim symbols and the abhorrent use of such ignorant terms as “Islamic terrorism”. Meanwhile, we must root out terrorism and extremism within the Islamic world. We need to take a unified and resolute stand against those who export hateful Takfiri ideologies.

It is incumbent upon the international community to take more concrete measures to raise awareness at the global level on the need to counter Islamophobia, bigotry, and anti-Muslim hate crimes. In this connection, the Islamic Republic of Iran expresses its strong support for OIC initiatives on tackling Islamophobia, in particular the designation of the 15th of March as an International Day to Combat Islamophobia by the UN General Assembly.

I thank you

MA/MFA

News Code 171248

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