NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that Islam’s message of peace, compassion and grace has inspired people across the world for millennia, Emirates News Agency reported.
Guterres called for action to counter anti-Muslim hatred in his statement on the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. He noted that nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide are frequently subjected to bigotry due to their faith.
The UN chief also emphasized the triple discrimination faced by Muslim women because of their gender, ethnicity and faith. He added that rising anti-Muslim sentiment is part of a resurgence of ethnonationalism, neo-Nazi white supremacist ideologies, and violence against vulnerable populations such as Muslims, Jews, minority Christian communities, and others.
Discrimination diminishes everyone, he said, and it is thus the responsibility of all to fight it.
Guterres called for policies that fully respect human rights and protect religious and cultural identities to strengthen defenses against discrimination. He also advocated for greater investment in social cohesion and the recognition of diversity as a source of wealth in order to combat bigotry.
The UN secretary-general stressed that all major faiths and traditions call for tolerance, respect and mutual understanding. He called on people to confront the forces of division by reaffirming their common humanity every day, not just on the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.