ALBAWABA - The United States vowed to continue working to combat "Islamophobia," reiterating the right of individuals worldwide to freedom, including minorities in America.
The pledge came in a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, which the United Nations set on March 15.
"The United States will continue to advocate for individuals’ ability to live in accordance with the dictates of their consciences and speak out on behalf of those who have been denied the ability to do so," Blinken said.
Secretary Blinken's statement recognizing the first International Day to Combat Islamophobia: https://t.co/1EpBNrusWw— U.S. Ambassador at Large Rashad Hussain (@IRF_Ambassador) March 15, 2023
"As Muslims worldwide prepare for their holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and caring for communities, let us here in the United States and abroad, work to combat this hatred," the secretary emphasized.
Blinken noted that Muslims worldwide "too often face discrimination and hatred based on their religious beliefs." He pointed to March 15 this year being the fourth anniversary since the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. On that day, a gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers in two mosques and injured another 40.
One year ago, the UN General Assembly declared 15 March International Day of Islamophobia -- an opportunity to draw attention to the need for global dialogue to promote tolerance and peace, based on respect for human rights and diversity. https://t.co/N67D6Eul1U pic.twitter.com/SN9jJtpEFI— United Nations (@UN) March 15, 2023
"Every person, everywhere has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the freedom to change their beliefs or not believe," he said. "Each person also has the freedom, either individually or in community with others, in public or private, to manifest those beliefs in worship, observance, practice, and teaching."
"On this day, we call attention to people around the world who are harassed, detained, imprisoned, or even killed for identifying, practicing, converting to Islam or being perceived as Muslim," the secretary said.
On this International Day to Combat Islamophobia, we call attention to people around the world who are harassed, detained, or even killed for practicing Islam or being perceived as Muslim. We are committed to combatting all forms of Islamophobia.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 15, 2023
He cited remarks by the the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to the Human Rights Council in 2021, who said: "Institutional suspicion of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim has escalated to epidemic proportions."
The first International Day to Combat Islamophobia is a call for action to stamp out the poison of anti-Muslim hatred.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 15, 2023
Discrimination diminishes us all. We must stand up against it.
Today & every day, we must counter the forces of division by reaffirming our common humanity.
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