Pakistan has told the international community that state-sponsored hate speech against Muslims and calls for their genocide in India have reached “epidemic proportions”, and called for putting an end to this campaign.
Ambassador Munir Akram in his remarks at an event to commemorate the 2nd International Day for Countering Hate Speech said, “State-sponsored hate speech against Muslims and calls for Muslim ‘genocide’ in India have reached epidemic proportions.”
The Pakistani envoy drew attention to the recent warning of Gregory Stanton, the head of Genocide Watch, about the possibility of genocide in Indian-occupied Kashmir and in Assam and other parts of India itself.
“The international community must act now to stop the Islamophobic and anti-Christian campaign of the Hindu zealots in India,” Ambassador Akram said.
“It is sad that the champions of Human rights are willing to embrace those responsible for mass murder and gross atrocities in the services of dubious geopolitical objectives.”
Morocco spearheaded efforts that led to the 2021 UN General Assembly resolution that established the International Day.
Pakistan, Ambassador Akram said, was particularly alarmed at the global resurgence of hate in the form of xenophobia, racial and religious intolerance and acts of discrimination and violence against minorities, especially the stigmatization of Muslims communities and individuals in the rampant rise of Islamophobia.
“The abhorrent acts of desecration of Holy Quran, earlier this year, in several European countries are recent instances of Islamophobic hatred,” he said.
“Yet, the worst manifestation of such Islamophobic hate is the anti-Muslim campaign led by the Hindutva inspired government in India to “cleanse” India of all vestiges of its rich Islamic heritage.”
Ambassador Akram called for reaffirming the commitment to promoting peace, tolerance, inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, and countering hate speech.
“In particular,”, he added, “the practice of insulting any religion and acts of hate and violence on the basis of religion or belief must be universally outlawed.”
Pakistan, he said, will continue to advance the international efforts to protect individuals, communities and nations from hate speech and related xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, violence, and incitement to violence.
Earlier, UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi called for more global action towards eradicating hate speech
“It would be my wish that we would not have to observe this day. It would be my wish that hate speech were a thing of the past,” he said.
Hate speech is most often directed at women and girls, ethnic and religious minorities, and migrants and refugees.
Korosi noted that it is spreading on social media and online, “feeding a global rise in violence”. Some companies are also profiting from advertisements interspersed with online manifestations of hate speech. .
Furthermore, a UN Strategy and Plan of Action on the issue “offer us a firm step in the right direction.”
Launched three years ago by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, these initiatives recognize hate speech as a precursor to atrocity crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity. They also call for addressing the root causes and drivers.
In his message for the Day, the UN chief said UN offices and teams across the world are confronting hate speech by implementing local action plans, based on the strategy.
“The United Nations is consulting governments, technology companies and others on a voluntary Code of Conduct for information integrity on digital platforms, aimed at reducing the spread of mis and disinformation and hate speech, while protecting freedom of expression,” he added.
The commemorative event was organized by Morocco and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.
The Secretary-General’s message was read by Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.
She said that as the Organization’s “global focal point for hate speech”, her Office will continue to prioritize UN response efforts, both online and off.
“We need action that addresses the impact hate speech has on those targeted and more broadly on society from a prevention perspective. We also need to ensure that we address its root causes by promoting inclusion, non-discrimination and protecting civil space,” she said.
Ms. Nderitu also highlighted the value of country-led efforts, including through regional initiatives, which “continues to be crucial if we are to turn the tide on (hate speech).”
Disclaimer: Calls for genocide of Indian Muslims reach epidemic proportions: Pakistan - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view