The 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council
19 June – 14 July 2023
Agenda Item 1: Urgent debate to “discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred as manifested by recurrent desecration of the Holy Quran in some European and other countries”.
Statement of International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
11th July 2023
Delivered by Batoul ALANANY / GICJ
Thank you, Mr. President,
We are deeply troubled over the rise of anti-Muslim hatred and the discrimination against Muslim citizens in several European countries.
We believe that such acts are a violation of the principles under the UNDHR, and we urge States to condemn and sanction religious insults and related acts that are offensive against a whole community.
We need a forward-looking text that disallows freedom of expression to be used for denigration of religions and religious symbols.
That’s why we implore this Council to immediately put into effect the 2019 United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech.
States shouldn’t allow for these dreadful acts to go unpunished; they must combat the impunity of these vile provocations that intentionally disturb public order and call for individuals to be subjected to hatred, discrimination, or violence.
20 years after 9/11, Islamophobia continues to increase thanks to media lies and propaganda, further contributing to misunderstandings and misrepresentation of Islam.
The hate crime campaigns cannot be tolerated.
In this regard, EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice urge the Council and the international community to adopt firm action against these increasing violations, by raising awareness and drawing the distinction between freedom of expression and hate speech, to protect the integrity of our democratic society.