The recent blasphemous remarks reflect the growing Islamophobia under the Modi regime. Needless to say, from legitimised destruction of the Babri masjid in India to the terrorist mass shooting at Christchurch mosque in New Zealand, Muslims are constantly being oppressed, targeted and subjugated worldwide.

However, India’s hijab controversy cannot be seen in isolation. It is part and parcel of the anti-Muslim rhetoric that the chauvinist BJP government has been pushing since Narendra Modi took power.

Discriminatory citizenship laws, the lynching of Muslims on suspicions of consuming or transporting beef, and bans on communal prayers are all part of this sinister anti-Muslim action that the BJP has been pushing. Islamophobia has emerged as the most threatened phenomenon in recent years. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents has increased to 257 yearly.

Thankfully, Muslims have a unanimous platform in the form of the Organisation of Islamic Council (OIC). That is to say, the organisation can play a pivotal role in overcoming the challenge of Islamophobia. In the recent past, the efforts of the OIC to convince the United Nations about Islamophobia and acknowledge the 15th March as an international day against the phenomenon are symbolic. However, the Muslim world must react proactively to misconceptions and stereotypes that breed Islamophobia. Moreover, the platform of the United Nations and foreign policy are valuable tools in fighting the threat. The organisation comprises more than fifty countries and a plethora of financial and human resources to combat this threat. Likewise, awareness campaigns, documentaries, and films can play an influential role in diminishing the Islamophobic thoughts of people worldwide.

SAIF UR REHMAN,

Lahore.