Iran FM warns of Islamophobia spread across West
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned against the escalation of “the quite unsettling and pervasive manifestations of Islamophobia” in the aftermath of the January 7 attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released on Saturday, Zarif said Muslims across the world condemned in clear and unequivocal terms the unjustifiable killings by members of an infamous, violent and extremist group.
He added that such senseless resorts to violence has no place in Islam and its exalted teachings and are not acceptable to Muslims, but that the perpetrators who seek to spread Islamophobia are trying to portray a different image of the religion.
“The issue for us, in the Islamic Republic, and in the larger Muslim world, is the prevalence of double-standards when it comes to the question of the proclaimed defense of the universally respected principle of the freedom of expression,” Zarif said.
He expressed grave concern over the frequent desecration of Islamic sanctities by Western political quarters and media, while, as he added, any material considered as anti-Semitic in Western media is forbidden and punishable.
“This inherently dangerous phenomenon poses serious threat to international peace and security, and the acutely needed ambiance of humane, peaceful inter-state and inter-people relations and the requisite recourse, by all, to dialogue, understanding and tolerance between and among the plurality of ethnic, religious and racial communities in our world today,” the Iranian minister said.
Zarif added that the Western double standards have resulted in a surge of European and American militants who are now fighting alongside terrorists in the Middle East and committing atrocities again civilians.
“I strongly believe we urgently need to draw on our collective wisdom at the level of the entire international community to explore practical ways and means in this regard,” the top Iranian diplomat added.
He underlined his readiness for further exchange of views with the UN chief on such topical issues.
On January 7, two gunmen attacked the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices, killing 12 people. The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack.
The French magazine has repeatedly provoked Muslim anger by publishing cartoons of the Prophet.
In the wake of the January 7 attack, Henri Roussel, a founding member of Charlie Hebdo, blamed slain editor Stephane Charbonnier for the incident, saying he “dragged” his team to their fate.
The magazine published its first cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed four years ago. Following the 2011 publication, the magazine’s offices were targeted in a firebomb attack.