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UN Action Plan to Safeguard Places of Worship Step in Right Direction

The International United Nations Watch views the announcement of the Secretary-General of the United Nation, António Guterres, that the UN has asked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, “to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites,” as a step in the right direction.

The International United Nations Watch views the announcement of the Secretary-General of the United Nation, António Guterres, that the UN has asked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, “to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites,” as a step in the right direction to protect places of worship following the increase of hate-attacks against Muslims and other faith groups worldwide.

The UN noted that “The Alliance will reach out to governments, faith-based organizations and religious leaders to explore ways to prevent attacks and guarantee the sanctity of religious sites.” IUNW stresses that working with community groups and Muslims and other faith groups, who were affected by these hate attacks, paying dearly for it from their blood and loved ones, is the best approach to move forward with this plan.

The UN was supposed to step in earlier and should not have waited this long before taking actions. Has the UN done this, the lives of dozens of Muslims worldwide would have been saved. However, IUNW still believes that such a long-awaited move is the right approach to protect places of worships, especially for Muslims, to make sure that they are places of prayers and peace, and not of death and terror.

Addressing the Islamic Cultural Center in New York, the UN chief, Mr. Guterres, noted that he spoke with “heavy and full heart.” The international wave of solidarity with Muslims worldwide is sending a positive message to Muslim communities in the West that they belong there and that they are part and parcel of the West today. This message is very much needed, and Muslims would feel more assured by such statement and concrete actions.

The truth is that the discourse against Muslims, especially on various media outlets in the West, has been mostly negative which contributed to this wave of hate against them. As the UN official noted in his speech in New York, “Although the attack was utterly appalling, it was not utterly surprising, because around the world, we have seen ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, hate speech and bigotry.” IUNW asserts that telling the truth as it is, as the UN head has expressed it, is the first step to end this campaign of hatred.

In order to stop Isamophobia and other forms of hatred against faith groups, which is “spreading like wildfire,” as António Guterres put it, political parties in the West which view Muslims and other faith groups as ‘different other’ should be delegitimized and their discourse should be isolated. In fact, there is so much love towards the Muslim and other faith groups in the West that if allowed to be pushed forward, will make them feel safe.

The UN has taken a long-awaited step, although late, towards protecting Muslim and faith communities. Such a step is important for Muslim and faith communities in the West. It sends a message to them that they are welcome. It also sends a message to the right-wing groups that their discourse against Muslims is not welcome and has no place in the West. Formulating such a plan would save the world more tragedies and would ensure that the West and Europe maintain their diversity and multi-culturalism and isolate exclusive ideologies which view Muslims as a different other.

For media inquiries, please contact Maya B. Garner at:

For media inquiries, please contact Maya B. Garner at:

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