By Qistina Sallehuddin – February 27, 2023
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians must recognise that the Islamophobic act towards Muslims is not only prejudice but is also a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
In his welcoming remarks at the ‘Islamophobia International Forum: A Meaningful Engagement Through Madani Discourse’, he said it was critical to address the underlying issue in Islamophobic acts, in a move to rebuild tolerance and respect for all walks of life.
“Islamophobia not only affects the lives of millions of people but also erodes the very fabric of society and threatens the values we hold dear as Muslims.
“If we allow Islamophobia to continue to be unabated, we are complicit in violating these fundamental human rights. (And) we deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the right to express themselves freely and practice their faith without fear of retribution.
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“The right to believe and practice one’s religion is also enshrined in international law as a fundamental human right, (hence) Muslims should have the right to profess their faith without fearing discrimination, persecution, and intimidation,” he said in his keynote address at the forum, today.
Zambry adds that there was also a clear call to action in combating the prejudicial act as the systemic oppression of Muslims continues unabated.
He said this includes the decade-long ban on minarets in Switzerland, the refusal of certain European governments to accept Muslim refugees and the continuous harassment faced by Muslim women in the West who choose to wear the Hijab highlighting the different forms of Islamophobia that exist today.
“This leads to tangible economic and social exclusion, limiting opportunities available to the Muslim Ummah and restricting them from reaching and unleashing their full potential.
“Therefore, these examples must be treated as a clear call to action and promote harmonious relations and peaceful coexistence in an otherwise diverse global community.”
Zambry, however, stressed that there needs to be a united response from the Muslim world to combat Islamophobia.
“Together, the Muslim world has a considerable amount of resources at its disposal. However, there is a lack of a holistic strategy to mobilise these resources to create actionable change.
“Many (also) pin the blame solely on the West for allowing Islamophobia to grow. While it is easy to do so, the current poor state of affairs also reflects the current hesitancy of the Muslim Ummah.”
He adds Malaysia will stand ready to further solidify bilateral and regional cooperation with Indonesia and Brunei, as well as in multilateral fora in matters of great interest for the Muslim Ummah.
“Wisma Putra’s unwavering commitment to combat Islamophobia on a global level with other leading actors such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will remain strong.
“Based on this mechanism, Malaysia will continue to play a leading role in spearheading Malaysia Madani’s agenda in promoting the tenets of Islam, and combat Islamophobia at the international fora”.
Categories: Asia, Human Rights, Human values, Islam, Islamophobia, Malaysia, Muslims
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