The U.N. General Assembly established the International Day to Combat Islamophobia in a resolution passed by a unanimous majority in 2022, designating March 15 as the day of the holiday’s celebration. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation was represented by Pakistan in the resolution’s introduction. It is in remembrance of the day in 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, when a shooter opened fire inside two mosques, killing 51 people and wounding another 40. The resolution was formally introduced by Pakistan’s U.N. representative, Munir Akram. He said that this resolution acknowledges the widespread rise in intolerance, prejudice, and violence against members of numerous religious and other communities, regardless of who is doing it.
History of International Day to Combat Islamophobia
Islamophobia is the dislike, terror, or prejudice of Islam or Muslims in general, especially when perceived as a geopolitical power or the source of terrorism. The precise definition and scope of the term ‘Islamophobia’ are under debate. Some scholars see it as a form of xenophobia or racism. Others consider Islamophobia and racism to be closely related or partially overlapping, while others still dispute any relationship between the two because religion is not a race.
Islamophobia is particularly alarming these days because it has emerged as a new form of racism, demonstrated by xenophobia, negative profiling, and stereotyping of Muslims. In addition, Akram observes that the gender aspect of Islamophobia is becoming more prominent. Women and girls are being targeted because of the clothing they wear. People hold the general notion that Muslim women are oppressed and therefore must be liberated.
The designation of a worldwide day, according to Guyana’s ambassador to the U.N. General Assembly, is a crucial step in combating Islamophobia and its detrimental impacts, which include restricted access to jobs, housing, and education. Worldwide action will help fight against the increasing acts of violence against Muslims and Muslim communities around the globe. The U.N.’s resolution maintains that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, ethnic group, or civilization. It calls for more intentional global efforts to drive dialogue on the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace worldwide at all levels. The resolution asks all countries, U.N. bodies, civil society, private sector and faith-based organizations, as well as international and regional organizations, to organize and support different high-visibility events aimed at increasing awareness at all levels about curbing Islamophobia.
International Day to Combat Islamophobia timeline
The term ‘Islamophobia’ first appears in the ‘Journal of Theological Studies.’
Ayatollah Khomeini incites Muslims to attempt to murder Salman Rushdie, the author of “The Satanic Verses.”
Ziauddin Sardar, an Islamic scholar, writes that Islamophobia is widespread in Europe, which has many anti-Muslim political figures.
Gideon Rachman writes that anti-Islamic radicalization outside Muslim nations is due to the rise of intolerant Islamism in some Muslim countries.
International Day to Combat Islamophobia FAQs
How many Muslim nations were involved in passing the U.N. resolution?
The resolution was cosponsored by 55 countries, mainly Muslim countries.
In which countries does Islamophobia occur?
Islamophobia exists everywhere throughout the world, from Burma to Russia, Greece, France, Spain, and Germany.
What causes Islamophobia?
Some of the events leading to Islamophobia include the 9/11 bombings; terror attacks in the U.S. and Europe by Islamic extremists; and the emergence of the militant group Islamic State.
How to Observe International Day to Combat Islamophobia
Organize an event
There are several ways you can show support for Muslims. One way is by hosting an event (peace walk, exhibition, talk, e.t.c.) in your neighborhood promoting the human rights of Muslims.
Learn some history
Muslims have faced violence and discrimination for decades. Educating yourself on these injustices will help you understand the magnitude of issues they face.
Many people may not be aware of the extent of hatred that Muslims have faced and continue to experience. Letting others know about this is one way to break the negative cycle.
5 Facts About Islamophobia That You Need To Know
The E.U. fights Islamophobia
To combat the rising Islamophobia in the E.U., the European Parliament in Brussels created the Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit on September 26, 2018.
France defends Islam
Manuel Valls, the French PM, said in 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo attack, that Islam is not related to the terrorist group ISIS.
The most extensive Islamophobia monitoring
The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia undertakes the largest project monitoring Islamophobia following the 9/11 bombing.
Donald Trump against Muslims
Trump, who won the 2016 presidential election with an Islamophobic campaign, suggested banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.
Islamophobia groups are funded heavily
Groups promoting Islamophobia in the U.S. had access to $206 million between 2008 and 2013.
Why International Day to Combat Islamophobia is Important
It fights for human rights
Muslims face much discrimination because of their religion. The International Day to Combat Islamophobia reminds the world of the importance of protecting human rights.
It promotes religious tolerance
The U.N resolution is focused on Muslims. However, it also encourages the protection of all religions and beliefs.
It honors the victims of religious attacks
The International Day to Combat Islamophobia pays homage to those who lost their lives in the New Zealand attack. It also calls the world’s attention to victims of past incidents.
International Day to Combat Islamophobia dates