In the recently organized virtual meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at United Nations, Maldives defended India when Pakistan reportedly made attempts to push its narrative of rising Islamophobia in India into the agenda. Thwarting the move the Maldives claimed that singling out India alleging Islamophobia would be factually incorrect.
The reply from the Maldives came after Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram proposed that India is actively promoting Islamophobic agenda.
Maldives Permanent representative to the United Nations, Thilmeeza Hussain taking a dig at the Pakistan propaganda against India said alleging Islamophobia in the context of India would be factually incorrect as the country is home to over 200 million Muslims. She further said disinformation campaigns on social media should not be construed as representative of the feelings of 1.3 billion.
"Let me state that singling out India, the largest democracy in the world and multi-cultural society and home to over 200 million Muslims, alleging Islamophobia would be factually incorrect," she said. "Isolated statements by motivated people and disinformation campaigns on social media should not be construed as representative of the feelings of 1.3 billion".
The Maldives representative further said that the allegation of Islamophobia could be harmful to the religious harmony in the South Asian region as Islam has existed in India for centuries and it is the second-largest religion in the country. "It would be detrimental to the religious harmony in the South Asian region. Islam has existed in India for centuries and it is the second-largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country's population," she added.
"The world has seen an alarming rise in the culture of hatred, prejudice and racism. Violence has been exploited as a tool to promote political and other ideologies/ agendas. The Maldives stands firmly against such actions anywhere in the world, including Islamophobia, xenophobia or any form of violence to promote political or any other agenda", Thilmeeza Hussain said.
"Maldives cannot support any action within the OIC that singles-out or targets India," she added.
India and Maldives share friendly and multi-dimensional relations and have attended several important events of each other country. India was among the first to recognize the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.