India called out an OIC-sponsored UN resolution on ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’ and cited that that word ‘pluralism’ finds no mention in the resolution while hoping that the resolution does not divide UN into religious camps.
It further claimed that non-Abrahamic religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism — are also facing persecution. “We are not convinced that we need to elevate phobia against one religion to the level of an international day.”
“India is proud that pluralism is at the core of our existence and we firmly believe in equal protection and promotion of all religions and faith. It is, therefore, unfortunate that word ‘pluralism’ finds no mention in the resolution and the sponsors have not found it fit to take on board our amendments to include the word “pluralism” in the text for reasons best known to them,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti noted in his Explanation of Vote at the UN General Assembly.
“We hope that the resolution adopted today, does not set a precedent which will lead to multiple resolutions on phobias based on selective religions and divide the United Nations into religious camps. It is important that the United Nations remains above such religious matters which may seek to divide us rather than bring us together on one platform of peace and harmony and treat the World as One Family,” pointed out Tirumurti.
Condemning religious phobias, Tirumurti said, “…we condemn all acts motivated by anti-semitism, Christianophobia or Islamophobia. However, such phobias are not restricted to Abrahamic religions only. In fact, there is clear evidence that over decades such religiophobias have, in fact, affected the followers of non-Abrahamic religions as well. This have contributed to the emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias.”
“These contemporary forms of religiophobia can be witnessed in the increase in attacks on religious places of worship like gurudwaras, monasteries, temples etc or in spreading of hatred and disinformation against non-Abrahamic religions in many countries. Examples abound. The destruction of Bamyan Buddha, violation of gurudwara premises, massacre of Sikh pilgrims in gurudwara, attack on temples, glorification of breaking of idols in temples etc contribute to the rise of contemporary forms of religiophobia against non-Abrahamic religions,” he asserted.
Hinduism has more than 1.2 billion followers, Buddhism more than 535 million and Sikhism more than 30 million spread out around the world. “It is time that we acknowledged the prevalence of religiophobia, rather than single out just one. It is in this context that we are concerned about elevating the phobia against one religion to the level of an international day, to the exclusion of all the others.
Celebration of a religion is one thing but to commemorate the combatting of hatred against one religion is quite another. In fact, this resolution may well end up downplaying the seriousness of phobias against all other religions,” Tirumurti lamented.