OIC Executive Committee strongly condemns recent sacrilegious acts

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, at the OIC General Secretariat headquarters, Jeddah, strongly condemned the recent despicable acts of desecration of the Holy Quran Al-Kareem in Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.
It called upon the respective governments to take effective actions to prevent the recurrence of these vile acts.
The OIC executive committee, in a final communique of the open-ended extraordinary meeting, also deplored the global rise and number of incidents or racial and religious intolerance and violence, including Islamophobia and urged all the UN Member States to implement paragraph 150 of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, a press release of the OIC Secretariat said.
The meeting held at the invitation of the Republic of Turkiye to discuss the recent incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran, condemned all attempts to denigrate the sanctity of the Holy Quran as well as other scared values and symbols of Islam, including the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), under the garb of freedom of expression, which was contrary to the spirit of Articles 10 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and called upon the international community to stand against these attempts. It invited the ambassadors of the OIC member states in the respective capitals where vile acts against the Holy Quran and other Islamic holy symbols took place, to collectively make efforts with respect to the national parliaments, media, civil society organizations as well as the governmental institutions, in order to express the OIC’s stance and to induce the relevant authorities to take the necessary legislative actions in order to criminalize such attacks, cognizant of the fact that the exercise of freedom of expression carried with it special duties and responsibilities.
The executive committee also noted with concern that Islamophobia was on the rise in many parts of the world as evidenced by the mounting numbers of recorded incidents of religious intolerance, negative stereotyping, hatred and violence against Muslims.
Expressing its deeply worries about the resurgence of racist movements and far right extremism in multiple regions of the world, it recalled relevant resolutions and declarations by the Islamic Summit Conference and Council of Foreign Ministers, in particular the Final Communiqué of the 14th Islamic Summit, held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, on 31 May 2019; as well as Resolutions adopted by the 48th Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Islamabad on 23 March 2022, in particular Resolution No. 32/48-POL on ‘Combating Islamophobia and Eliminating Hatred and Prejudice against Islam’, Resolution No. 34/48-POL on ‘Combating Defamation of Religions’, and Resolution No. 35/48-POL on ‘Condemnation of Desecration of the Holy Quran’.

It also referred to the UN General Assembly resolution 66/167 and the UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 of March 2011, UNGA Resolution 76/254 designated 15 March as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”.

The meeting stressed upon the need ‘to ensure that the right of freedom of expression should be exercised by all, with responsibility and in accordance with the relevant international human rights laws and instruments.’

It reiterated the importance of promoting dialogue, understanding and cooperation among religions, cultures and civilizations for peace and harmony in the world.

“Emphasizes the importance of promoting dialogue, understanding and cooperation among religions, cultures and civilizations while shunning hatred and extremism in order to achieve peace and harmony in the world; these are the principles highlighted by Amman Message,” it was further added.

The meeting requested the OIC secretary general to implement paragraph 9 of Resolution No. 68/48-POL by appointing a Special Envoy on Islamophobia, within the existing resources, to lead collective effort on OIC’s behalf.