US vows to combat 'Islamophobia'

Published March 16th, 2023 - 06:21 GMT
US vows to combat 'Islamophobia'
A man walks past a wall reading 'No Islamophobia' as a sign of protest against India's new citizenship law, in Kolkata on February 14, 2020. / AFP / Dibyangshu SARKAR
US vows to continue working to combat "Islamophobia," reiterating the right of people to free choice.

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.

"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.

"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.

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."


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