I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of OIC.
We are faced with new challenges of racism, racial discrimination, racial profiling, xenophobia and incitement to hatred, which we need to address as a Council.
A Chatham House report has called “populist extremist parties as one of the most pressing challenges to European democracies”. The rise of these parties is often traced to “public anxiety over threats to jobs, social housing and the welfare state”. According to the report it is important for “mainstream political parties to go beyond making the economic case for immigration and begin making the case for cultural diversity” in Europe.
Pope Francis during his visit to a mosque in Azerbaijan last year reminded the world that “the fraternity and sharing that we seek to increase will not be appreciated by those who want to highlight divisions, reignite tensions and profit from opposition and differences”. He spoke about “a dawn of peace, seeds of rebirth amid the devastation of death and echoes of dialogue resounding unceasingly” at time when the world seems to be dwelling in a “night of conflict”.
We condemn incitement to violence and hate advocacy on all grounds whether religion, ethnicity, caste or creed. We denounce xenophobia and hate crimes whether perpetrated against anyone as they are against the basic spirit and teachings of Islam. Daesh or any other group carrying out such violent acts does not represent Islam or Muslims and therefore we reject them to be referred to as “Islamic State”.
We are seriously concerned about the rising trend of populism and equating nationalism with patriotism in many western societies. It reminds us about the dark days of 1930s. The very idea of “Europeanness” and its core concepts of tolerance and multiculturalism are under attack by these so-called populist politicians. We are gravely concerned about this re-emergence of the “state egotism and nationalism” which is eroding the very foundations of the concept of global peaceful society.
We believe that it is essential for all of us to totally reject the politics of hate and xenophobia where ever it is pursued. It must be shunned and replaced with messages of peaceful co-existence and intercultural harmony. We should come out in support of the collective values for which we have stood for so long and that are imbibed in the true teachings of all religions, in international human rights instruments as well as in the foundational documents that shaped UN.
We should not allow year 2017 to go down in the history as the year of populists, who spurned the ideals of tolerance, inclusiveness and diversity.
We strongly believe that the misleading narrative of populist extremism must be rejected by the Council in unequivocal terms. “Never again” is required “again”.
I thank you.