ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday that the scope and definition of terrorism should be broadened to include attacks on Muslims and sanctions should also be imposed on Islamophobic groups and individuals.
Qureshi was speaking at an emergency meeting of the OIC held in Istanbul to discuss last week’s attacks on two New Zealand mosques and "increasing violence based on Islamophobia.”
At least 50 people, including nine Pakistanis, were killed in twin attacks by an ultra-right white extremist who live-streamed the assaults and posted an elaborate racist manifesto online.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Qureshi said a joint communique had been issued with six proposals, four of them put forth by Pakistan.
"The first proposal was that the scope and definition of terrorism be broadened,” Qureshi said. “And the imposition of sanctions should not be limited to entities such as Al Qaeda, Daesh, etc … but those elements which reek of Islamophobia should also be included in the list of those sanctioned.”
He said the second proposal was that a special session of the United Nations General Assembly be held on the topic of Islamophobia, and the third that the OIC secretary general should work on the removal of Islamophobic content from social media.
"The fourth thing that was proposed was that a special rapporteur be appointed who monitors Islamophobia and presents recommendations on how to counter it,” the Pakistani foreign minister said.
Apart from foreign ministers from 20 Muslim countries, representatives of various international organisations, such as the United Nations and European Union, also attended as observers.
Addressing the OIC meeting earlier, Qureshi said the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand were not an "isolated act of a lone maniac” but “a grim reminder of the tide of Islamophobia sweeping the world.”
"Today, symptoms of this disease are writ large on the face of many societies,” he said. “It is writ large in the manifestos of far-right parties that call for expulsion of Muslims ... in the vandalizing of Islamic symbols and sites … in the growing racial profiling and stigmatization of Muslims, particularly where Muslims are in minority.”