Remarks by H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the OIC Executive Committee Meeting on Christchurch New Zealand Attacks against two Mosques
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
السلام علیکم و رحمت الله و برکاته،
At the outset, I wish to convey our gratitude to His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, for convening this Emergency Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the wake of last week’s barbaric terrorist attacks against two Mosques in New Zealand.
Afghanistan condemns the attacks in the strongest terms possible and extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved families of all the victims.
May the Almighty Allah bestow eternal peace on the departed souls of all who perished in the heinous attacks.
The senseless killing of Muslims in Christchurch, which took the lives of fifty worshippers, including women and children, was a despicable act of terrorism.
Two Afghans were martyred and three others were left wounded in the tragic attack.
Another Afghan, Mr. Abdul Aziz, put his life on the line to confront the attacker and prevent him from killing even more people. We salute his courage.
The attacks showed that terrorism knows no religion, boundary, race or nationality, posing a serious threat to all of humanity.
The barbarity of March 15 also underscored the unfortunate reality that hate, racism and intolerance against Muslims continues to rise, not subside in different parts of the world.
This is an issue of grave concern, warranting the immediate and sustained attention of the global community.
We vehemently reject all forms of discrimination along ethnic, racial, national and religious lines, which amounts to incitement of terrorism.
In this context, we believe it is high time that combating Islamophobia features more prominently.
A comprehensive approach, starting from governments, extending to civil society and grassroots elements is needed to prevent and combat hate speech and xenophobia against Muslims.
In that regard, decisive action by relevant State institutions, including law enforcement should be taken to hold culprits and perpetrators of discrimination accountable.
This should be one element of a broader effort to address the “cause and effect” link between Islamophobia and acts of terrorism and violent extremism committed against Muslims.
We call for adequate measures for the protection of Muslim communities, mosques and other places of sanctity around the world.
A repeat of the tragic events such as the one which occurred on the dreadful afternoon of 15 March in New Zealand must be prevented.
We take this opportunity to commend the leadership of the Government of New Zealand in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks.
The generous sentiments of compassion, sympathy and solidarity with families of the victims and Muslim communities in New Zealand were valued and appreciated throughout the Islamic world.
I conclude by thanking the Government of Turkey - once again - for this important meeting and reiterating our strong rejection of all forms of terrorism, racism and discrimination as a violation of fundamental principles of humanity.
Thank You Mr. Chairman.