United Nations Names March 15 as "International Day to Combat Islamophobia" P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic On March 15, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. The resolution was sponsored by 55 predominantly Muslim member states and passed consensus with all 193 states in support.
The resolution was introduced by Pakistan’s representative, marking the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand in 2019.
The new U.N. resolution is a look-back on a 1981 resolution that calls for “the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.”
In December last year, Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representative of Minnesota, passed H.R. 5665. The bill is intended to monitor and combat “acts of Islamophobia and Islamophobic incitement that occur in foreign countries.” The bill, if approved, will establish the Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia under the Department of State.
Both resolutions were intended to create policy infrastructure and points-of-coordination to prevent acts of Islamophobia.
However, Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) expressed a warranted concern over H.R. 5665. Muhammad Syed, president of EXMNA, acknowledged that combating anti-Muslim bigotry is a “worthy goal” shared by his organization. “Nonetheless, the language of this bill leaves open an alarming vulnerability to abuse and overreach,” Syed warned. “Nowhere does the text define Islamophobia,” he explained.
Nicolas de Riviere, France’s representative to the U.N., acknowledged that “Islamophobia has no agreed definition in international law.” Although France supported the new resolution, Riviere warned that “an international day does not respond to concerns to fight against all forms of discrimination.”
Both the resolutions designed to fight against Islamophobia failed to explore the nature and scope of the concept. Syed explained that the word Islamophobia has been “weaponized to conflate criticism of Islam as a belief system with discrimination against Muslims as people.”
He warned that the office created by the passing of H.R. 5665 will “carry out its actions in accordance with nothing but its own interpretation.”
Syed added that blasphemy laws are also designed to combat religious bigotry, similar to what H.R. 5665 intended. He warned that the Department of State might end up as “a collaborator in authoritarian regimes with the lack of definition.” 
According to Syed, the Senate, who now works on the bill after passing the Congress, should “amend the text to provide a clear definition of “Islamophobia.” The bill should “explicitly exclude criticism of the Islamic religion,” Syed recommended.

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