Saudi Arabia hails UN day to combat Islamophobia

Kingdom says it will work with international community to promote a culture of tolerance

The United Nations has approved a resolution to set March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. AFP

Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed a resolution passed by the United Nations to make March 15 the International Day to combat Islamophobia.

The kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said it will continue to work with the international community to support “all efforts aimed at encouraging dialogue and promoting a culture of tolerance”.

The ministry said it has taken vital steps and initiatives at the international and regional levels to “fight misguided and extremist ideology”.

Saudi Arabia will continue to promote “tolerance and moderation so that the world enjoys more security and stability”, the statement said.

The UN Security Council's 193 members adopted the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 55 mainly Muslim countries. It emphasised the right to freedom of religion and belief and recalls a 1981 resolution calling for “the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief”.

There has been an increase “in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religions and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions or beliefs”.

The resolution asks all countries, UN bodies, international and regional organisations, civil society, private sector and faith-based organisations “to organise and support various high-visibility events aimed at effectively increasing awareness of all levels about curbing Islamophobia”, and to observe the new International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

The resolution was originally introduced by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).

OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha said the step was a milestone achievement by the UN.

The decision will “consolidate global awareness of the threat of hatred and fanaticism against Muslims while encouraging the international community to take concrete measures to combat the phenomenon”, Mr Taha said.

It will also “advance tolerance and peaceful coexistence across the world”. he said.

Mr Taha said the OIC is ready to co-operate with the UN as well as the international community to “promote unity and harmony” to achieve global peace and understanding.

Updated: March 17, 2022, 3:02 PM