United Nations adopted a resolution proposed by Pakistan and the OIC to designate March 15 as” International Day to Combat Islamophobia.” Islamophobia has emerged as one of the grave concerns that have jeopardized the contours of harmony and cooperation between west and the Muslim world. The resolution expresses deep concern at “the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance, and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religions and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions or beliefs”.
The adoption of this resolution comes at a time when hate speech, discrimination, and violence against Muslims are proliferating in several parts of the world including India. It is on vivid display in IIOJK. Violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by various ‘Hindutva’ groups with complete impunity, and often under state patronage, highlighted the worsening trend of Islamophobia and extremism in India. Islamophobia is manifested in negative profiling by security agencies, stigmatization, deliberate vandalizing of Islamic symbols and holy sites, killings by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws and policies, a ban on the hijab, attacks on mosques, pronouncements by far-right parties that call for expulsion and even “genocide” of Muslims, anti-Muslim migrant bias, and attacks on the dignity of Muslim women. Shashi Tharoor wrote in an article published in November 2021 that “over the last seven years in India, persecution of Muslims has been gradually normalized and Indians have become increasingly inured to it.
PM Modi and his BJP are entirely to blame”. It is a reminder that “targeting minorities with impunity, and hate speech with official sanction, will have repercussions for India’s global reputation,” notes Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a leading scholar. Islamophobia is not just a human rights violation but a contemporary manifestation of racism. India to shun its Hindutva policies and stop targeting its minorities, hurting their religious sentiments, and putting an end to the rising incidents of violence and the spread of hate against Indian minorities, especially Muslims. OIC countries must call upon all states to prevent any advocacy of religious discrimination, hostility or violence, and defamation of Islam by incorporating legal and administrative measures and investigating attacks and hate crimes against Muslims and their places of worship.