On January 17, the Permanent Missions of the United States and Canada to the United Nations, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations jointly hosted the High- Level Forum on Combating Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hatred.
Mustafa Akhwand, Shia Rights Watch’s director, alongside more than hundred activists, civil society representative, and human rights organization’s representative attended the forum to participate in gathering all tools possible to combat Anti-Muslim discrimination, nationally and internationally.
The day-long event at the United Nations examines the rise of anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred globally from the perspective of governmental, nongovernmental, and private sector representatives. It will also focus on best practices to combat anti-Muslim discrimination and highlight strategies that promote positive narratives of pluralism. Forum participants will provide recommendations on effective responses by all sectors of society to address the continued challenge of all forms of discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion or belief in all parts of the world.
After the UN Secretary-General António Guterres offered a video message to open the Forum, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, addressed the issue of violence against minorities such as Shia Muslims in different countries indicating the rise of hate and discrimination toward minorities and issue of violence against minorities from state and non-state actors. Saperstein urged the governments and Human rights organization to work hand in hand to address the issue finding ways to prevent violence through dialogue and peace building.
Three interactive panels considered necessary and complementary tools to combat anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred in anti-discrimination law enforcement, civil society coalition-building and positive narratives to promote pluralism and inclusion.
They assessed the scope of rising anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred worldwide, compare government and private sector responses, share best practices, and provide concrete recommendations for combating anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred.