OIC rights body concerned over ‘growing tide of Islamophobia in India’

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) consists of 57 member states and is an important forum of Muslim countries. (AFP/File)
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Updated 20 April 2020

OIC rights body concerned over ‘growing tide of Islamophobia in India’

  • Coronavirus inflamed religious divisions in India after virus cluster emerged in Muslim missionary group last month
  • Pakistan has said India should focus on its domestic minority issues

ISLAMABAD: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s human rights body on Sunday expressed deep concern over what it called the “growing tide of Islamophobia in India,” and in a series of tweets, called for an end to the ‘persecution of Muslims’ in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

After a cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged at a gathering of Muslim missionaries in New Delhi last month, the disease has inflamed already festering divisions between the country’s Hindus and its 200 million strong Muslim minority. Violent attacks on Muslims have been reported around the country amid sensational news coverage of the missionary event, and with some Hindu nationalist politicians encouraging the trending topic “Coronajihad” on social media.

“OIC-IPHRC urges the Indian Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted Muslim minority as per its obligations under intl HR law,” the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said on its official Twitter page.

In a separate tweet, the rights body said it condemned campaigns blaming Muslims for the spread of COVID-19 in India as well as their negative profiling in the media which led to persecution.

The latest spate of violence comes after months of protests against a new citizenship law that critics say discriminates against Muslims.

On Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson said in a meeting with reporters that New Delhi should focus on its domestic matters regarding minority rights.

The comment came in response to India’s criticism over the falling of two domes of a major Sikh temple in the town of Kartarpur in a storm on Friday.

The temple which marks the site where the founder of Sikhism died, was renovated and opened in the Pakistani town last year with a special visa-free border crossing for Indian pilgrims. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had hailed the corridor as a mark of his country’s commitment to peace in the region. 

On Saturday, the Indian government conveyed to Pakistan that the damage to the temple had caused “great consternation” among the Sikh community, according to Indian media.

Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said it was best for India to focus on its own minority issues, in a veiled reference to growing concerns about the treatment and widespread persecution of Indian Muslims.

“Pakistan knows how to protect its minorities, their sites and has greater regard for the minorities of the country,” Farooqui said while speaking to reporters on Sunday.

Shaheen Afridi upstages Taylor's ton as Pakistan beats Zimbabwe in first ODI

Updated 30 October 2020

Shaheen Afridi upstages Taylor's ton as Pakistan beats Zimbabwe in first ODI

  • Zimbabwe lost by 26 runs when it was bowled out for 255 in 49.4 overs
  • Afridi outperformed everyone with 5-49

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan overcame Brendan Taylor’s century thanks to fast bowler Shaheen Afridi’s 5-49 to beat Zimbabwe by 26 runs in the first one-day international on Friday.
Taylor’s 112 off 117 balls — his 11th ODI hundred — ended up in a losing cause as Zimbabwe was bowled out for 255 in 49.4 overs.
Afridi was well supported by Wahab Riaz, who claimed 4-41.
In Pakistan’s first home international with no spectators because of COVID-19 restrictions at Pindi Cricket Stadium, left-handed batsmen Haris Sohail (71) and Imam-ul-Haq (58) propped up their team’s total of 281-8.
The three-match ODI series is part of the new World Cup Super League. Seven of the 13 teams in the league will directly qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.
Taylor kept Zimbabwe in the hunt by hitting 11 fours and three sixes until Afridi returned in the 47th over and had him caught at mid-off. Zimbabwe lost its last five wickets for only 15 runs in the space of 18 balls.
“Pakistan’s bowlers' skill level at the death made it difficult for us," Taylor said.
On being named player of the match, he added, “I feel very lucky to get this man of the match award as I feel Shaheen should have got it. You’re up against a very skillful attack at the death and they were too good at the end."
Taylor and Wesley Madhevere (55) shared a 119-run, fifth-wicket stand that put Zimbabwe’s chase back on track after Afridi and Riaz reduced Zimbabwe to 115-4 in the 27th over.
But once Riaz broke the partnership by clean bowling Madhevere, Afridi followed up with the key dismissal of Taylor and swung the game back in Pakistan's favor.
“He (Taylor) played an outstanding innings, but I had confidence in Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz,” Babar Azam said after winning his first ODI as Pakistan captain. “Once Shaheen had Taylor’s wicket, I was sure we are going to win the game.”
Earlier, Zimbabwe's players didn’t show any rustiness despite this being their first international match since March as they tied down Pakistan’s much-fancied stroke-players.
Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro (2-31) and fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani (2-39), who is making a comeback after two years out, were the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers. Muzarabani got Babar caught behind on 19.
Imam survived a television referral for lbw on 11 and went on to hit six fours. However, soon after completing his half-century he fell to a bizarre run out when he and Sohail ended up at the striker’s end.
Sohail departed in the 42nd over after hitting six fours and two sixes when offspinner Sikander Raza had him caught behind. Sohail didn’t return to the field during Zimbabwe’s chase.
Pakistan made 90 runs in the last 10 overs to post a competitive total.