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International Day to Combat Islamophobia

In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
All praise and thanks belong to God, the Lord of the Worlds,
May peace and prayers be upon Prophet Muhammad

On behalf of the communities we serve in our respective countries around the world, the undersigned Muslim organizations today commemorate the UN’s Second International Day to Combat Islamophobia. We do so by calling the attention of those committed to advancing justice for all people to injustices being perpetrated by the governments of Israel, India, China, and France.

Israel’s decades of occupation and apartheid have arrived at a predictable conclusion: genocide in Gaza. Some states, such as South Africa, have asserted international humanitarian values. Other states, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have provided military aid and political comfort to Israel while ignoring the daily stream of videos documenting Gaza’s reduction to rubble and Palestinian civilians crying for food, medicine, or over their dead children.

This latest cycle of Middle East violence has impacted our constituencies as a spike in hate against Muslims in Western countries who speak up for Palestinian human rights accompanies Israel’s onslaught.

India’s far-right, anti-Muslim government continues its repression of religious and racial minorities in that nation, particularly Muslims. Early this year, Prime Minister Modi continued to weaponize faith in his nation when he inaugurated a temple on the site of the former Babri Mosque, which was destroyed in 1992 by Hindutva nationalist mobs.

The Chinese government advanced efforts to “Sinicize” Islam in that nation by erasing mosques and Muslim cemeteries and implementing policies of internment and forced labor for ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.

France continued efforts to erase visible clothing associated with an individual’s Islamic identity from public spaces. Most recently, the government banned Muslim students from wearing the abaya, a long, flowing robe-like garment worn by many Muslim women. Education Minister Gabriel Attal said in an interview with TV channel TF1, “When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the pupils’ religion just by looking at them.” Other French Ministers even admitted that though the abaya is not a religious garment, students will be targeted based on their assumed religion thereby further legalizing religious discrimination against French Muslims.

Last year, Muslim organizations came together to make a joint call to action. In 2024 and in light of the above, we make the following calls to action:

  1. Nations should recognize the UN International Day to Combat Islamophobia and in particular strongly call on the above nations to abandon anti-Muslim activities.
  2. Muslim-majority nations should take the opportunity of today’s commemoration to challenge Islamophobia generally and the above nations specifically.

The groups joining together on this statement commit to continuing to work in their respective nations and regions to promote an international norm in which respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs is valued through political action.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) (Australia)
Collective for Countering Islamophobia in Europe (CCIE) (Europe)
Comité Justice & Libertés Pour Tous (France)
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (USA)
Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO) (Europe)
March 15th Forum, Combating Islamophobia (USA)
MPower Change (USA)
Muslim Rights Watch Netherlands (Netherlands)
Islamophobia Studies Center (USA)
Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (USA)
International Islamophobia Studies and Research Association (multiple nations)
Islamophobia Studies Journal (multiple nations)
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) (UK)
US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) (USA)