Quran burnings Islamophobic acts intended to incite hatred, says PM Anwar

NEW YORK — Quran burnings that have taken place in several countries are nothing but clear Islamophobic acts intended to incite hatred, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Friday.

He said inaction in the face of such blatant provocation to a religion is simply irresponsible and sends a dangerous message to humanity.

In his National Statement delivered at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the United Nations headquarters, Anwar said Malaysia is concerned over the emergence of a “new form of racism” characterised by xenophobia, negative profiling, and stereotyping of Muslims.

“This is manifested in an alarming trend of hatred, intolerance, and acts of violence against Muslims and their sanctities,” he said.

Malaysia, he said was appalled by the legitimisation of these acts under the feeble defence of human rights.

The prime minister, clad in light blue Baju Melayu complete with a gold-threaded sampin, said the world must embody the values of acceptance, tolerance, and mutual respect, as well as promote inter-cultural, inter-civilisation, and inter-religious understanding and cooperation.

“We must unite our faiths in common cause to promote understanding and goodwill among our peoples, and strengthen peace and harmony among nations.

“These are indeed tall orders but that is the very reason we are here. I truly believe that no challenge, however formidable, is insurmountable if we secure the collective commitment of this global community, the member states of this august institution.

“What we need is trust and the conviction to make the world a better place, the will to work together on a platform of consensus and solidarity,” he emphasised.

After a bilateral meeting here on Wednesday, Anwar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the recent burnings of the Quran and populist discourse that incited hate speech against Islam.

In a joint statement, both leaders also expressed concern over the emergence of a “new form of racism” characterised by xenophobia, negative profiling, and stereotyping of Muslims. — BERNAMA