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ISTANBUL, March 23, (KUNA): Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah has urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states to appropriately counter Islamophobia and promote Islamic tolerance and values. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled made the call while addressing an emergency OIC ministerial meeting held in Istanbul today to weigh the aftershocks of the recent attack on two mosques in New Zealand. He said the meeting aims to deliver a message of solidarity and condolence from the Muslim world to the families of the “martyrs” and the wounded as well as the entire people of New Zealand following this dreadful act.
However, the Kuwaiti minister appreciated the efforts and measures taken by New Zealand to tackle the ramifications of the incident, which reflected unprecedented tolerance and civilized response to the disaster, thus easing out the anguish of Muslims around the world. He decried the phenomenon of Islamophobia and discourse of hatred, discrimination and violence as key serious scourges that target secure communities. He quoted the OIC member states as having repeatedly sounded the alarm about this growing scourge and called for countering it in order to maintain security, peace and harmony among world peoples, citing relevant OIC and UN recommendations and resolutions.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled emphasized that in the light of this horrible terrorist act and other similar terrorist acts worldwide, which broke the hearts of all Muslims, mechanisms should be put in place in order to fight extremism and bigotry, just as was the case with the international counter-terrorism alliance. He went on to say that the recent terrorist attack shows that terrorism has neither religion nor homeland, and that the Muslim world has suffered enough from misconceptions about Islam and its principles and values, along with relevant negative effects, which have sparked a state of hatred, religious intolerance and discrimination against Islam and Muslims. Therefore, Kuwait, through its non-permanent UN Security Council membership, and Indonesia managed to produce a UNSC press statement condemning this terrorist act and calling for fighting such terrorist acts, he noted.