UN chief calls for mutual respect to combat Islamophobia

Says today we see a rising tide of anti-Muslim hate and bigotry.

NEW YORK: On International Day to Combat Islamophobia being observed today, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said world leaders should make commitment together to promote mutual respect and understanding, foster social cohesion, and build peaceful, just and inclusive societies for all.

In his message, he said the day occurs at a time when we see a rising tide of anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in many parts of the world.

Institutional discrimination and other barriers are violating the human rights and dignity of Muslims. Divisive rhetoric and misrepresentation are stigmatizing communities. Online hate speech is fueling real-life violence.

Mr Guterres said much of this disturbing trend is part of a wider pattern of attacks against religious groups and vulnerable populations, also including Jews, minority Christian communities and others.

The UN chief said we must confront and root out bigotry in all its forms. He urged world leaders to must condemn inflammatory discourse and safeguard religious freedom.

He also urged the digital platforms to must moderate hateful content and protect users from harassment.

He also emphasized that everyone must unite to combat intolerance, stereotypes and bias.

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