Against the Upsurge of Islamophobia

WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations”, December 19, 2015

In view of the recently mounting number of verbal and physical attacks on Muslims in several Western countries, the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” issues a categorical “NO” to this upsurge of Islamophobia. The Forum invokes at this juncture the words of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward each other in a spirit of brotherhood” (and sisterhood).

Too often today it seems that this solemn declaration has been forgotten not only by national and global leaders but also by people on the street. Shocked and frightened by extremists and terrorists who are abusing religion for their nefarious goals, some people are ready to put all members of a particular faith under suspicion. This is not only a violation of fundamental principles of humanity but also the absolutely wrong method of preventing and fighting terrorism.

Committed to mutual understanding and respect and to freedom of religion, the World Public Forum firmly condemns the current wave of Islamophobia and hate-mongering as we have always done in the past toward any kind of xenophobia. We sincerely warn against resort to bellicose rhetoric which can easily morph into war-mongering and from there into violent confrontation. What the world needs now is de-escalation, not escalation! In order to stop terrorism, ISIS and similar forces must be cut off from their supply of weapons, financial support and human resources. As a corollary of this policy, the World Public Forum advocates a peaceful social and economic development in MENA as well as efforts to facilitate the integration of migrants in Europe.