Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

Islamic organization leader warns of intolerance, Islamophobia

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 8 May 2010
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Islamic organization leader warns of intolerance, Islamophobia, 8 May 2010, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

May 08, 2010

Ekmeleddin IhsanogluEkmeleddin Ihsanoglu

VIENNA – The leader of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) says an increase in hatred and intolerance in society is a "grave threat" to peace and stability, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe's Permanent Council in Vienna on May 6 that a coordinated effort is needed to battle the rise of Islamophobia, intolerance, and discrimination against Muslims.

He added that the goals and objectives of the OIC are not much different from those of the OSCE, as both organizations are devoted to the cause of international peace and security.

Ihsanoglu, who is Egyptian, also drew attention to the rise of Islamophobia in Western societies.

"We cannot ignore the fact that religion has been drawn into the agenda of international relations by the extremist elements who are active in creating tensions and who threaten stability, harmony, and even peace through provocation and incitement on religious grounds," he said.

Ihsanoglu also said that in his view he does not think the burqa is "truly related to Islam." He called the wearing of the clothing a "pre-Islamic habit" and added that he personally doesn't approve it. But Ihsanoglu said a ban on burqas is "very un-European" and urged Europeans to honor the values of "tolerance and freedom."

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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