Angered by the rise of anti-Muslim hatred following the COVID-19 outbreak, a group of powerful Islamic countries have urged Sri Lanka to ensure the safety of Muslims in the country.
In a strongly worded statement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has also expressed its opposition to cremating bodies of Coronavirus victims.
“General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed its deep concern over reports on escalating hate speech and hostility towards Muslims in Sri Lanka, the promotion of biased and rejected allegations holding members of the Muslim community responsible for the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the country as well as reports that authorities cremated bodies of the Muslim victims of the pandemic and arrested community members who rejected these practices,” said the statement.
“In this regard, the OIC reaffirmed its firm position rejecting all policies and practices targeting the rights of Muslims anywhere. Furthermore, it called on the authorities in Sri Lanka to ensure the safety, security and rights of the Muslim community, as well as commitment to respect their religious practices and rituals, safeguard their dignity and to stand firmly against all parties behind the promotion of hatred, Islamophobia, and anti- Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka.”
The OIC also stressed that the current global juncture requires the involvement of all actors in strengthening the bonds of cooperation and the values of solidarity among states and consolidating cohesion and synergy among constituents of each state to collectively and effectively respond to COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on all societies.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the 2nd largest inter-governmental organization after the UN with 57 member states.