OIC rights body: Hate speech must be countered to ensure peaceful coexistence

Representatives of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) visiting a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh on January 8, 2018 . (Courtesy: OIC website)
Updated 22 March 2018
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OIC rights body: Hate speech must be countered to ensure peaceful coexistence

JEDDAH: The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) affirmed its commitment to addressing ethnic oppression on Wednesday as it observed the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

The IPHRC said that it joined the international community in observing the day and its theme, “Promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination.”

The commission said that Islam laid the foundation of a culture steeped in the principles of equality among all people regardless of caste, color, creed or religious beliefs.

The growing signs of intolerance and failure to accept diversity in the form of xenophobia, hatred and discrimination based on race, religion, origin and ethnicity had resulted in blatant human rights violations of affected communities, it said.

"Unfortunately, these acts of intolerance are not only prevalent in developing societies facing conflicts but are equally affecting the developed world, where the politics of the far-right is breeding the seeds of discord and promoting xenophobia and demonizing of migrants, refugees and other minorities," it said. "Such a culture of hate and intolerance is not conducive for the creation of peaceful societies and continues to constitute a threat to global peace and security."

The IPHRC also reminded the international community that hate speech, including Islamophobia, must be countered to ensure peaceful coexistence in all societies.

To this end, the commission urged the implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which conveys an international resolve to combat all forms of discrimination, hatred and violence based on religion or belief to avoid a clash among cultures.

"The IPHRC welcomes the adoption of Resolution No. 72/157 by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 19, 2017 and Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which recognizes respect for cultural diversity as an integral element for ensuring the sustainable development of nations and cultures through the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, tolerance, mutual respect, inter-cultural understanding and global citizenship and shared responsibility," it said.


Farasan Islands initiative launched to boost Saudi tourism

Updated 2 min 58 sec ago
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Farasan Islands initiative launched to boost Saudi tourism

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has unveiled an initiative to develop the Farasan Islands in Jazan and turn them into a unique tourist destination as part of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program 2020.
The initiative seeks to take advantage of the distinct features of the islands, including their abundant coral reefs, captivating beaches, rich cultural heritage, pure waters, unique geographical location, mangrove forests, diverse marine species and rare animals and birds.
SCTH explained that the initiative includes plans for hotels, coastal resorts, marine activities, and recreational and heritage sites.
The initiative is expected to generate an annual revenue of SR531 million ($141 million), and attract 375,000 tourists per year to the islands.
1,760 hotel rooms will be made available and more than 6,200 jobs will be created.