United Nations, Nov 14 : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the imaginary fear of Islam was creating a new form of discrimination and is giving rise to hate speeches against the religion and tensions.
Addressing the special session of the United Nations Interfaith Dialogue in New York City last evening, he said that hate speeches against Islam were leading to injustices against the Muslims.
"This imaginary fear of our religion has created a new form of discrimination and is giving rise to new tensions. Let us translate the dynamic messages of our respective religions for the good of humanity and not to create strife. Let us turn the messages of hope imbedded in our faiths into living and practical reality," The News quoted him as saying.
The President said that unfortunately at a time when most Muslims were advocating interfaith dialogue, they also witnessed events that frustrate our call for dialogue. "We hear hate speeches across countries and regions in which Islam as a religion is attacked. Hate speech against Islam also leads to injustices against Muslims. Indeed the imaginary fear of Islam has been rising. This is exactly what the terrorists had hoped to provoke. Those in the West that accept this are falling into the trap of the terrorists," he added.
Zardari said that the world community should commit itself to eliminating the root causes of extremism and terrorism, giving all people in all societies renewed faith in their countries, in their laws, and in the futures of their children.
Zardari urged participants of the interfaith conference to have consensus on an international agenda which may ensure (i) hate speech aimed at inciting people against any religion must be unacceptable; (ii) injustice and discrimination on the mere basis of one's faith must be discouraged-not only in words but through meaningful actions; (iii) bigotry manifested in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism must be combated; (iv) dialogue, and not discord, between civilisations and faiths must be encouraged; (v) nations with little resources caught in the crossfire of extremism should be helped, strengthened and aided by the international community.