Asia Current Affairs

Outlaw Islamophobia: Pakistan PM Imran Khan tells UN

Written by Shoaib

During the UN General Assembly 2020, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has used the platform to address several issues pertaining to the Muslim world, with Islamophobia taking centre stage. Khan mentioned Islamophobia during four of the themes he addressed in his 26-minute speech.

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First: Coronavirus Islamophobia

Prime Minister Khan addressed the UN General Assembly 2020 in a pre-recorded message saying “The pandemic was an opportunity to bring humanity together, unfortunately it has instead fanned nationalism, increased global tensions and given rise to racial and religious hatred and violence against vulnerable minorities in several places. These trends have also accentuated Islamophobia”

As we addressed here on Muslim World Journal before, racists and islamophobes are blaming the Coronavirus pandemic on Muslims. A day doesn’t go by in the west without a newspaper using a photo of a Muslim to report on the pandemic. A small selection of examples of such irresponsible reporting can be found in this article. This association pushed by the media is giving rise to attacks on Muslims from racist groups.

“Muslims were falsely blamed, vilified and victimised for spreading Coronavirus. They were denied medical attention on many occasions, their businesses were boycotted” Khan continued.

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Indian TV anchors and right wing groups blamed a peaceful Muslim missionary group, Tableeghi Jamaat, for the outbreak. The blame was placed on the Tableeghi Jamaat for holding a gathering before the lockdown was introduced, however Hindu and other religious groups held larger gatherings even after Tableeghi Jamaat’s gathering.

This lead to Indian Muslims being unable to be treated in hospitals and being kicked out of villages.

Second: European Islamophobia hidden as Freedom of Speech

Prime Minister Khan then said “Muslims continue to be targeted with impunity in many countries. Our shrines are being destroyed, our Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) insulted, the Holy Quran burnt, and all this in the name of freedom of speech. Incidents in Europe including republication of blasphemous sketches by Charlie Hebdo are recent examples. We stress that wilful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed.”

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In Norway and Sweden, far-right groups held a Quran-burning ceremony while in France Charlie Hebdo republished racist cartoons. On Muslim World Journal we addressed why this cartoons are so offensive, which you can read here.

Charlie Hebdo publishes many racist cartoons such as the one above. With the top left depicting Aylan Kurdi, the child whose dead body washed up on a beach after escaping war. The caption reads “What would have happened to little Aylan if he grew up?” and underneath it says “A groper of women in Germany.” Due to their claim to freedom of speech, they are allowed to take target specifically at Muslims but rarely any other people.

In his 2019 address to the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Khan said “In western society, the holocaust is treated with sensitivity because it hurts the Jewish community. So that’s the same respect we ask for; do not hurt our sentiments by maligning our Holy Prophet (PBUH). That is all we ask.”

Third: Indian State Sponsored Islamophobia

Prime Minister Khan then shed light on India’s recent Islamophobia “The one country in the world today, where I am sad to say the state sponsors Islamophobia, and that (sic) is India. The reason behind this is the RSS ideology that unfortunately rules India today.

“This extremist ideology was founded in the 1920’s. The RSS founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and they adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy. While the Nazi’s hate was directed at the Jews, the RSS directs it towards the Muslims and to a lesser extent the Christians. They believe that India is exclusively for Hindus and others are not equal citizens.

“The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra. By subjugating, even cleansing, India’s 200 Million Muslims and other minorities.”

Babu Bajrangi (left standing) with the Indian PM, then CM Gujarat (seated centre). Bajrangi instigated the “Naroda Patiya massacre” where 97 innocent Muslims were murdered including 36 women, 26 men and 35 children. He later boasted in a video about how he had killed a pregnant woman, showing her her dead foetus before she died. He was sentenced to life imprisonment until the Modi government released him from prison on bail last year.

During Modi rule there has been many attacks on Muslims. Many Muslims have been forced to leave Islam, others murdered under accusations of consuming beef and the criminals responsible allowed to walk free.

Prime Minister Khan addressed this by showing the crimes of the RSS. He mentioned the 1992 destruction of the Babri Mosque, the 2002 massacre of thousands of Muslims in Gujrat under the leadership of now Prime Minister then Chief Minister Modi, in 2007 the burning the “Samjotha express” train killing 50 Muslims.

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Khan commented that new laws in India will take citizenship away from almost 2 Million Muslims. He claimed that there are even reports of concentration camps.

“Cow vigilantes attack and kill Muslims with impunity. Last February Muslims faced targeted killing with Police complicity in New Delhi.”

Prime Minister Khan echoed calls from Saudi Arabia by calling for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict

The United Nations, which was formed after the fall of Nazism in World War II, reached its 75th anniversary. The similarities between modern day India and Nazi Germany weighed heavy during Khan’s speech.

“Mass registrations in the past have often been a precursor to genocide. For example the Nuremberg laws in Germany in 1935 and then in 1982 in Myanmar. The Hinduvta ideology is said to marginalise almost 300 Million human beings; Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.”

Fourth: Islamophobic Policies in Kashmir

Indian-occupied Kashmir has been subjected to curfews, internet shut down and media black outs since 5 August 2019. On 19 May, India passed a law stating that specifically Hindus were allowed to go into Indian-Occupied Kashmir and settle there as citizens.

Right wing leaders called on Hindus to settle in Kashmir in order to reduce the Muslim demography of Kashmir. This would mean that any democratic vote (plebiscite) to find out the will of the people of Kashmir would be manipulated. You can read more about the Israeli-style Hindu settlements of Kashmir here.

Yogi Adityanath, who became Chief Minister of UP province under the Modi goverment, is known for encouraging forced conversions of Christians to Hinduism. In 2011 he said to a crowd of tens of thousands that “Hindu audiences should dig graves of Muslim women and rape the corpses” and in 2015 said “if Muslims take one Hindu girl, we will take 100 Muslim girls. If they kill one Hindu, we will have”

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Prime Minister Khan addressed the Hindu settlements in Kashmir by saying “This is an attempt to obliterate the distinct Kashmiri identity in order to affect the outcome of a plebiscite, envisaged in the UN security council resolutions.

This action is in violation of the UN Charter, council resolutions, and international law, particularly the fourth Geneva convention. Changing demographic structure of occupied territory is a war crime”

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In World War II, the Nazis came up with the so-called “Final Solution” which was the Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews. Prime Minister Khan showed how even the terminology of the BJP in India matches that of Nazi Germany as he said “The objective of this brutal campaign is to impose what the RSS/BJP regime has itself called ‘The final solution of Jammu and Kashmir'”

Reaction to the Speech

A junior Indian delegate at the UN staged a walk out from the UN when Prime Minister Khan’s speech was played. India then said they will use their right of reply to respond.

TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN said “Another litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, war mongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities & of its cross-border terrorism”

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About the author


CEO of | Director of the Organisation for the Conservation of Islamic Heritage | President of | Editor Muslim World Journal | Pharmacist | You can find me on Instagram and Facebook

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