• OIC meeting: FM Qureshi urges UN for laws to tackle Islamophobia

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    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi  urged the United Nations to formulate laws to tackle rising Islamophobia File Photo Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged the United Nations to formulate laws to tackle rising Islamophobia

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday urged the United Nations to formulate laws to tackle rising Islamophobia, at an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Istanbul.

    Foreign ministers from over 20 Muslim countries participating in the OIC meeting in Istanbul, Turkey united in their call for measures against Islamophobia, after last week's twin mosque massacre in New Zealand left 50 people dead, including nine Pakistanis.

    Violence driven by Islamophobia requires "genuine, comprehensive and systematic measures to address this affliction," ministers from the OIC said in a statement after the meeting.

    The OIC said attacks against mosques and murders of Muslims showed the "brutal, inhumane and horrific outcomes" of hatred of Islam.

    It called for countries with Muslim communities, minorities or migrants to refrain from "statements and practices that associate Islam with terror, extremism and threats" to society.

    Qureshi also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, on the sidelines of the moot.

    He was earlier welcomed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu upon his arrival in the country.

    The Turkish foreign minister is chairing the meeting to which, apart from the OIC members, the representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are also invited.

    A statement released by Turkey's foreign ministry on Thursday stated, "Turkey, as the OIC Summit Chair, has called upon holding an emergency meeting for discussing the increasing violence based on Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, in particular the terrorist attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019."

    The Azaan was heard across New Zealand on Friday, as thousands gathered to remember the 50 people martyred by a lone gunman at two mosques a week ago. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the mourners gathered at a park in front of the Al Noor Mosque, where most of the victims died, for a prayer followed by two minutes of silence.

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