Asia - Pacific

OIC body urges India to halt Islamophobia amid COVID-19

Coronavirus outbreak exacerbates Islamophobia in India, intensifying anti-Muslim campaigns

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 20.04.2020
OIC body urges India to halt Islamophobia amid COVID-19

ANKARA

The human rights body of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday urged India to halt violence against Muslims in the country during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), an expert human rights body with the OIC, condemned a "vicious" campaign in India against Muslims being accused of spreading the coronavirus.

"#OIC-IPHRC condemns the unrelenting vicious #Islamophobic campaign in #India maligning Muslims for spread of #COVID-19 as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination & violence with impunity," it said on Twitter.

In India, the coronavirus has killed 543 people while a total 17,615 have been infected by the virus.

However, the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated Islamophobic attacks and country's largest minority, Muslims -- who account for over 14% of country’s 1.3 billion population -- have been attacked and accused of spreading the disease.

The OIC rights body called on New Delhi to protect the country's nearly 200 million Muslims from Islamophobic campaigns.

Anti-Muslim violence and condemnation has further mounted due to anti-Muslim media coverage rife in the country.

"#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 int'l [international] HR law," the IPHRC statement added.

India is currently under lockdown to stem the spread of the infection.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world.

The pandemic has killed over 165,000 people, with total infections exceeding 2.4 million, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University

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