ISLAMABAD - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission yesterday welcomed United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ rejection of Islamophobia amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet, the OIC-IPHRC said: “(This) echoes his (UN chief’s) commitment to challenge and combat ethno-nationalism and all forms of intolerances which are rising in post-COVID scenario.”

The OIC’s expert body supported “focused, consistent and system wide collective OIC and the UN approaches to counter Islamophobia”.

It pointed out that instances of Islamophobia violated “human rights law, undermined multiculturalism and posed a threat to international peace and security.“

The OIC statement came after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that countering anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobia was his “top priority” and he “fully agreed” with the assessment that it could pose a threat to international peace and security.

The UN Chief gave the statement recently at a virtual meeting of the OIC member states at the United Nations.Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram had drawn his attention to the rising cases of anti-Muslim violence and Islamophobia in India and urged him to adopt a more focused and consistent system-wise approach to fully tackle the menace.

The OIC-IPHRC, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is one of the principal organs working independently in the area of human rights.

Foreign Minister Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed the OIC and UN chief’s statements.

“Pakistan has consistently appealed to @UN & @OIC_OCI to condemn Modi’s Hindutva supremacist ideology with relentless Islamophobia & violence/regional instability perpetuated. We also welcome @antonioguterres agreement on need to counter Islamophobia & OIC-IPHRC’s earlier censure,” he tweeted.

The FM said Pakistan would not stay silent, allowing the Indian government to round up Muslims to be beaten and killed.

The FM said: “We will not stand by and let another Gujarat happen (riots took place in Indian Gujarat killing hundreds of Muslims in 2002). To counter rising cases of anti-Muslim violence & Islamophobia, Pakistan has been supported by the (OIC) to initiate working group with the (OIC Permanent Observer Mission to the UN) for collective action.”