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Dhaka Tribune

Quran burnings: Bangladesh envoy shares OIC’s concern with UN chief

This form of hatred may lead to incitement of violence and destabilize peace and security in many countries, Ambassador Muhith says

Update : 21 Jul 2023, 12:27 PM

Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith on Thursday led a delegation of Muslim countries to meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres and conveyed to him the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's "deep condemnation" of the burning of copies of the Holy Quran.

He led the team of representatives from other OIC countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Pakistan, in his capacity as acting chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), according to the Bangladesh mission.

“We deeply condemn the repeated incidents of the public burning of the Holy Quran in few countries as they insult the sacred values of Muslims worldwide," the ambassador told the UN chief during the meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, US.

He said such despicable acts not only inflamed the sentiments of Muslims worldwide but also went against the principles of freedom of expression, religious tolerance and individual beliefs.

He added that inaction against this form of religious hatred might lead to incitement of violence and destabilize peace and security in many countries. 

In this context, he also referred to the case of Rohingya Muslims who had been forced to take shelter in Bangladesh owing to the consequences of religious and ethnic hatred in Myanmar. 

Ambassador Muhith urged the UN chief to request all UN member states to take appropriate legal measures at the national level to combat religious intolerance, including Islamophobia, hate speech, and desecration of the Holy Quran and other religious symbols.  

António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the OIC members and strongly condemned this heinous act of religious hatred.

He also assured the OIC representatives that he would do his best in his capacity as the UN secretary general to support global efforts in preventing the recurrence of such anti-religion hatred in the future.  

Earlier, led by Ambassador Muhith, OIC representatives called on UN General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi on July 14 and Security Council President for July Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward on July 20 to express similar concerns.

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