President Dr Irfaan Ali said Islamophobia has no place in civilized societies and is counterproductive to multiculturalism, in which all are recognized, valued and respected.
The Head of State made the claim during his virtual address to the Family Summit organized by the TARIC Islamic Center of Ontario, Canada, last Friday evening, under the theme “Combating Islamophobia – Strategies, Resources and effective best practices”.
“Islamophobia is a social disease. It promotes hatred, prejudice, prejudice and discrimination against people based on their identification or perceived identification as Muslim.
“It disrupts social cohesion and social harmony. As such, Islamophobia also poses a powerful threat to multiculturalism,” the president said.
The first day of the three-day event also received messages from the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau; Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford and Mayor of Toronto, John Tory.
RESPECT FOR ALL
President Ali emphasized three important principles in the fight against Islamophobia, including the importance of laws that promote and protect religious freedom and protect religious communities from denigration; greater interreligious dialogue and the importance of embracing religious and cultural identity.
The President acknowledged that as multicultural societies, Guyana and Canada recognize the need to engender respect for internal diversity, and both countries also face the challenges associated with multiculturalism, including ethnic prejudice and discrimination.
“We can help each other by sharing our experiences and identifying what has worked for each of us. This Family Summit is an opportunity for us to do just that.
He highlighted the importance of the law as the “guardian of society” and of Guyana’s constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, religious belief or culture.
“In Guyana, our Constitution protects freedom of conscience. No one may be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience. It proclaims that this freedom includes freedom of thought and religion, freedom to change religion or belief, and freedom, alone or in community with others, both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate one’s religion. or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
Canadians, he added, also enjoy the right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
The president noted that Islamophobia is not going to disappear overnight. However, ensuring that the extended family – society – recognizes and respects Muslims and their rights will go a long way in ending attacks, prejudice, prejudice and discrimination against Muslims.
SPREAD AGAINST HARM
President Ali urged participants to be consistent in their storytelling and raise their voices against all forms of discrimination. He said the Islamic community must be willing to speak out consistently against injustice, prejudice, democracy issues and social injustice wherever it exists.
“We must be consistent with our principles and our values… We cannot talk about an issue only when it is in our favour. We must always be consistent in our narrative. “We cannot be dissociated from all these issues that make our presence in society. And this message must be consistent. He cannot be opportunistic. We have this responsibility. And this responsibility is an important responsibility. Wherever injustice appears, our voice must be there to denounce it. “
He also stressed that as efforts continue to end Islamophobia, so must the drive to ensure that the true values and teachings of Islam are understood by the world. (Press release extracted and modified from the Office of the President)