Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day: Racism Have No Place in Today’s World
As the United Nations sets to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, 2019, concerned authorities, UN bodies and NGOs worldwide should set a plan to reduce the impact of Islamophobia and discrimination against migrants in the West, which has been on the rise targeting people of migrant backgrounds, following the most recent migration waves to Europe.
This campaign against migrants and people of faith, especially Muslims, has been fed by the anti-Muslim discourse circulated on different media outlets and within the circles some right-wing political parties which came to power in some European countries recently. As a result of this hate speech and incitement, Muslims at their places of worship and in the streets have become a target for right-wing groups who attempt to harass them, hoping that they might “Go Back Home”.
Telling Muslims to “Go Back Home,” is one of the manifestations of this increasing Islamophobic and anti-migrantcampaign. Ironic as it is, Many Muslims were raised up in these European countries and have no other place “to go to.” These Muslims find themselves stuck between two worlds, one that considers them too westernized to be Muslims and another that considers them different and not belonging to Europe. This will lead without doubt to catastrophic implications that everyone would see and feel soon.
This campaign, if allowed to continue, will have catastrophic implications not just on Muslim communities, but also on Europe itself, which allows for these Muslims and migrant communities to be treated differently. It means that these communities will have a strong feeling of not belonging to Europe and therefore will push some members of these migrant communities to radicalism which everyone will pay a price for.
The United Nations, by working with all member states, should celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this year with a different spirit and message. A massage of oneness against otherness and unity against hate and divide. This unity should be translated into actions by making members of migrant and Muslim communities feel they are home and welcome. Governments in the West should make sure that right-wing racists have no place in the community and NGOs should work hand in hand with Muslim communities to let them feel home again.
The discourse against Muslims and migrants in the Western Media has to change. Muslims have been part and parcel of Europe for decades and there are many generations of them that don’t know but Europe. Europe is their home and they should feel so everywhere they go. Otherwise, allowing the anti-Muslim hate discourse to advance in the Western media will only deepen the divide at a time everyone needs to be united. Western media outlets should show responsibility towards their Muslim subjects because multi-culturalism in today’s world is the norm.
The exception is speaking of race and superiority over others. This discourse should not have a place in today’s world. No one is superior over the other and the United Nation should work to advance its humanitarian appeal of unity over divide, equality over discrimination and multiculturalism over claimed superiority. The international human family is so diverse and beautiful, and Muslims and migrants are part and parcel of it. Migrants and Muslims should be viewed as an addition to this mosaic of races and religions, enriching it in every possible way.
“United we stand, divide we fall.”