Pakistan has called for a collective effort to counter growing hate speech worldwide, which manifests into Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia and incitement to violence. While speaking to an event in connection with the first-ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech, Pakistan Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Aamir Khan has said that hate is a threat to everyone and combating it must be a collective effort of the global community. According to him, hate speech is on the rise worldwide, which undermines social cohesion and tolerance and creates violence through spread of xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, hatred and other forms of intolerance and discrimination across the globe. The Pakistani envoy called on the world to build consensus on the imperatives to strengthen education, which is a powerful tool to counter hate speech and set out concrete recommendations to restrict and abolish this rising menace from the world. Meanwhile, in his message on the eve of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, UN Secretary General has said that hate speech incites violence, undermines diversity and social cohesion and threatens the common values and principles that bind us together.
The hate speech gives birth to racism, chauvinism, creates hatred and incite violence between different section of society, ethnicities, religions and geographical zones of the world. While Islamophobia is a manifestation of hate speech and religiously motivated crimes against the Muslims due to their beliefs, religious attire, physical appearance, culture and traditions. The hate speech and hate crimes on the basis of people’s ethnicity and religious beliefs had increased rapidly in the United States, Europe, India, Burma and in the Far East Asian countries during the recent years. There had been an upsurge in the racial hate crimes against Asian Americans after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. According to a report of the FBI about hate crimes against religious minorities and people of colour about, 8263 criminal incidents and 11,129 related offenses had been reported to Police across the United States during 2020. There had been a series of ill-motivated incidents against Muslims aimed at hurting their religious beliefs through targeting their religion or religious personalities particularly in Europe, India, Myanmar and other countries in the recent past. These incidents largely disturbed the Muslims across the world.
Whereas right-wing political parties and groups in some western countries had tried to exploit the general unawareness and fear of Islam in their societies for electoral gains. The UN Secretary General has also admitted the growing anti-Muslim bigotry and rebirth of ethno-nationalism, neo-Nazism, Stigma and hate speech targeting vulnerable populations including Muslim in various parts of the world. Presently, Modi’s India has become the most insecure place for the Muslims where RSS and BJP goons have squeezed Indian soil for the Muslim population through limitless harassment, torture and insult of Muslim men and women in the streets, Bazaars, schools and other public places across the country.
Although, international community has acknowledged the threat of growing racism, Islamophobia and religious based violence in various countries and urged the world to combat this menace through dialogue, education and strict legislation. However, the global community must act swiftly against the States supporting religious and ethnic violence for political reasons and compel them to fulfil their obligations, so the minorities can prosper in the world.