OIC warns of consequent surge of "Islamophobia"
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) reiterated importance of combating extremism and warned of the "consequent surge of Islamophobia." This came in a speech Wednesday, delivered by the Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi on behalf of the OIC in a UN Security Council open debate entitled "Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorism." "Extremism flourishes when human rights are violated, its thus crucial that collateral damage and human catastrophe in counterterrorism operations is avoided, as otherwise they fuel extremism and radicalization," Al-Otaibi said.
He reiterated OIC's grave concern at the "mounting trend of intolerance and discriminations against Muslims, and the consequent surge of Islamophobia, which is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Muslims." Al-Otaibi also underscored the importance to hastily combat violent extremism ability to reach out to the masses through media, which makes it "imperative to effectively counter their narrative and ideologies of terrorist," as they remain the "most serious threats to every society, international peace and security as a whole." Al-Otaibi reiterated OIC's believe that the first step to combat violent extremism and terrorism "should be to deprive terrorist groups of legitimacy in the eyes of their primary support base by repudiating the very arguments they use to justify their criminal acts." He noted the misnomer of the use "religiously inspired terrorist group," as reflected in numerous Security Council and UN's General Assembly resolutions, arguing "no religion either condones or inspires terrorism. Yet, there are terrorist groups that exploit religions." Another effort the OIC is conducting to counter extremism is by "elevating credible and authentic religious voices that support tolerance and non-violence," he added.
Al-Otaibi also expressed OIC's extreme disturbance by the fact that terrorist groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS), are increasingly exploiting cyber platforms to spread their hate messages and to disseminate their distorted interpretations of the Holy Quran, messages that exploit "socioeconomic and political frustrations of Muslims.
"It is therefore of utmost importance that States, within the framework of international law and while respecting freedom of expression, identify and shut down such media platforms, whilst also engaging with communities to counter the narratives of terrorists and their propaganda," he said.
He then reaffirmed OIC's support for the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Security Council resolutions to combat terrorist groups like IS, especially resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) in order to prevent this terrorist group from recruiting foreign terrorist fighters.