International Day for Countering Hate.

The media is full of bad news and everywhere problems are reported. Most of the issues are self-created and based on hate, discrimination, over-greed, etc. In fact, human beings are the worst enemy of humankind.

Pakistan joins the international community in commemorating the International Day for Countering Hate Speech. This day is an important occasion to renew global solidarity for combating hate speech which is the prime catalyst for hatred, inter-religious discord, discrimination, incitement to violence, and acts of violence against people and communities.

Pakistan has been advocating for an international framework against hate speech, disinformation, and a balanced approach between fundamental freedoms and responsibilities. The tragic hate crimes and incidents witnessed around the world are a clear verdict against those who justify hate speech, denigration and vilification of religious personalities and symbols, and derogatory remarks to hurt sentiments of minorities, as the fundamental freedom of expression or opinion.

Guided by the vision of our founding fathers, Pakistan has always been at the forefront of international initiatives for promoting peace, tolerance, intercultural and inter-faith harmony, and respect, both at home and abroad. Based on principles enshrined in our Constitution, the Government has taken a number of steps domestically for combating hate speech whilst promoting fundamental freedoms. Moreover, judicial and administrative avenues have been strengthened in order to provide remedial measures to the victims of hate speech such as the establishment of National Commissions, effective implementation of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, and strengthening of law enforcement agencies concerned with hate speech, and so on. Moreover, curbing hate speech is one of the cross-cutting themes in various National Action Plans.

As we commemorate this day, we are particularly alarmed at the global resurgence in Islamophobia, xenophobia, hatred, and acts of violence against minorities. Even as victims of violence belong to diverse religious minorities across the world, there is a disproportionate growth in hate speech and stigmatization of Muslim communities and individuals, leading to acts of violence.

In our own region, the BJP-RSS dispensation, inspired by the extremist “Hindutva” ideology, is embarked upon a campaign to “cleanse” India of all vestiges of its Islamic heritage and make Muslims second-class citizens, even non-citizens. The ensuing hate speech and consequent hate crimes have reached unprecedented levels. The recent calls for Muslim ‘genocide’, state complicity in extra-judicial measures, and state-sponsored grave human rights abuses against Muslim protestors, in the backdrop of hate-driven derogatory remarks made towards the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by the senior BJP officials, are alarming and highly condemnable. The international community must end impunity for perpetrators of such abominable hate speech and crimes.

On its part, Pakistan will continue to advance the international efforts to protect individuals from hate speech and related xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, violence, and incitement to violence and will reinforce efforts to promote inter-faith and inter-civilizational understanding and harmony.

In fact, Muslims are the target of global hate, unholy media has launched a comprehensive campaign against Muslims. They are spreading fake news, distorted narratives, and fabricated stories, to project the Muslim image negatively. Under the lame excuse of freedom of expression, Muslims are insulted, humiliated, and degraded. Some of the developed nations have officially introduced discriminatory laws regarding immigration, visas, education, etc., for Muslims.

A visible difference was witnessed in the treatment of refugees from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. The degree of discrimination and biases was so huge that they also felt shame.

Whereas, Islam teaches tolerance, harmony, and peace. When the Muslims were in power, or in a better position, they treated the rest of the world much better. Unfortunately, when the West is enjoying developments, prosperity, and supremacy, they are humiliating Muslims. Muslims desire that others should respect Islam, as we do respect others, and deserve equal treatment.

Author:  Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail:

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