OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) strongly condemned the recent protest marches organized by German right wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) as racist and manifestation of growing Islamophobia in Europe and in particular in Germany. Despite organizers’ efforts to conceal their real intentions under the rhetoric of simple objection to Germany’s migration policies, motives of both the protests and organizers were clearly racist and xenophobic. The fact is not only made evident by the very name of the movement that organized these protest marches but also from its manifesto that seeks to protect the specific cultural bounds of German society as well as the support it receives from far right politicians to neo-Nazi factions and football hooligans groups.
IPHRC denounced the move as an obvious expression of growing intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of Muslim community, which has been an active and constructive part of the German Society both in its economic and social development. The Commission further warned that right-wing extremist/opportunists were misusing economic fears to stereotype and stigmatize specific communities for political gains that could lead to severe consequences including xenophobic attitudes resulting in discrimination, hatred and violence against targeted communities.
To that end, the OIC Commission welcomed the apt statement made by the German Chancellor, Ms. Merkel, who denounced the calls for these protests and categorized its leaders as people who have “prejudice, coldness and even hatred in their hearts”. IPHRC also welcomed and supported the positive statements made by religious and political leaders as well as personalities from media and sports world across the German society to deplore such moves as xenophobic and to express full support for diversity and tolerance.
In the face of growing religious intolerance, the Commission urged all affected countries and societies to faithfully implement the action plan contained in the famous UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which presents a global consensus on how to effectively combat negative stereotyping and stigmatization as well as incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence against persons based on religion or belief.