The United Nations adopted a resolution introduced by Pakistan and declared March 15 as ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia”.

The resolution, adopted by consensus by the 193-member world body and cosponsored by 55 mainly Muslim countries, emphasizes the right to freedom of religion and belief and recalls a 1981 resolution calling for “the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.”

India opposed the resolution

“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.

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.”

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