India Abstains From Voting In UN On Pakistan's Islamophobia Resolution

India Abstains From Voting In UN On Pakistan's Islamophobia Resolution

This has led to the emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, particularly anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh sentiments, said Ruchira Kamboj

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, March 17, 2024, 11:25 AM IST
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India has abstained on a draft resolution in the UN General Assembly on Islamophobia that was introduced by Pakistan on Friday and co-sponsored by China. The prevalence of religiophobia against Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and other faiths facing violence and discrimination must also be acknowledged rather than singling out just one religion, India contended.

The 193-member General Assembly adopted the resolution Measures to combat Islamophobia, with 115 nations voting in favour, none against and 44 abstentions, including India, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Ukraine and the UK. The resolution also requested UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a United Nations Special Envoy to combat Islamophobia.

India's Stand On Special Envoy Post & Islamophobia

However, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj said the country is in principle opposed to the creation of the post of a Special Envoy on the basis of a single religion. Kamboj voiced condemnation of all acts motivated by anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and Islamophobia but asserted that it is crucial to acknowledge that such phobias extend beyond Abrahamic religions. Clear evidence shows that over decades, followers of non-Abrahamic religions have also been affected by religiophobia.

This has led to the emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, particularly anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh sentiments, she said.

While the issue of Islamophobia is undoubtedly significant, we must acknowledge that other religions are also facing discrimination and violence. Allocating resources solely to combat Islamophobia, while neglecting similar challenges faced by other faiths, might inadvertently perpetuate a sense of exclusion and inequality, Kamboj said. It is crucial to recognise that Hinduism, with over 1.2 billion followers, Buddhism with more than 535 million and Sikhism with over 30 million followers worldwide, are all subject to religiophobia, she said, adding that it is time that we acknowledge the prevalence of religiophobia, rather than single out just one.

India Urges For Unity & Broader Perspective On Religious Discrimination

The adoption of the resolution moved by Pakistan should not establish a precedent that could result in numerous resolutions centred on phobias tied to specific religions, potentially dividing the United Nations into religious camps, India contended. It is crucial for the UN to maintain its stance above such religious concerns, which have the potential to fragment us rather than unite us under the banner of peace and harmony, embracing the world as one global family, Kamboj told the General Assembly.

All member states should consider the broader scope of religious discrimination that persists globally, India said. Contemporary forms of religiophobia are evident in the increasing attacks on religious places of worship such as gurudwaras, monasteries and temples, as well as the spreading of hatred and disinformation against non-Abrahamic religions in many countries, according to Kamboj.

Impact Of Religiophobia

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, violations of gurudwara premises, massacres of Sikh pilgrims in gurudwaras, attacks on temples, and the glorification of breaking idols in temples all contribute to the rise of contemporary forms of religiophobia ag

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