FM Qureshi urges OIC to intervene, stop attack on Muslims in India

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and others “cannot stand by and let another Gujarat happen” — referring to the 2002 massacre in India — and asked the body to stop the attack on Muslims under the Narendra Modi-led government.

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In a video message shared on his Twitter account, the foreign minister said that he has written a letter to secretary general of OIC, pointing to India’s “campaign of Islamophobia” amid the outbreak of a lethal pandemic.

“The world is fighting against coronavirus. What is required is a joint coordinated effort. Unfortunately, what we’re seeing is that though this virus respects no borders, it doesn’t differentiate between ethnicities or religion — yet in India […] they’re in the grip of Islamophobia.”

Expression of hatred against Muslims in India has become more pronounced during the pandemic. Hospitals have refused to treat Muslim patients, neighbourhoods have discussed stopping Muslims from entering them and people have been removed from jobs.

“Hate speech is being practised in India. Muslims are being discriminated against. They are not even being treated properly in hospitals,” said Qureshi in the video.

“There’s a campaign not to buy from their shops and businesses. Their houses were and are being attacked.

“You [the international community and OIC) saw the discriminatory approach of this Hindutva BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government. You saw that discriminatory laws were put into place. You saw NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) enforced in India,” Qureshi stated.

He urged the international community to “speak up”, as many in the Muslim world and the Gulf countries already have, arguing that the “time has now come to take notice to stop this attack on Muslims in India”.

“The OIC, foreign ministers and the international community must take notice of this. This is a violation of UN Human Rights Council resolutions and it’s also a violation of many statements and positions taken by OIC,” he pointed out.

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