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INTERVENTION (3C): INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE SR ON CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA & RELATED INTOLERANCE

INTERVENTION BY
MR. MUHAMMAD MUHAIMIN RASIDI
LONG-TERM DELEGATE OF MALAYSIA
TO THE 75TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

AT THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE

 

NEW YORK, 2 NOVEMBER 2020

 

 

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Malaysia thanks the Special Rapporteur for the presentation of her report.

 

2.   While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in humanity, it has also amplified the worse. Sadly we are seeing a surge in racism, hate speech, religious discrimination and xenophobia as well as Islamophobia during the pandemic.  Islamophobia is clearly a form of racism and religious discrimination. We are concerned with the rise in Islamophobia, religious intolerance and stigmatization faced by Muslims particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe.

 

3.   As we look back over the past several months, we should find time to pause and reflect. It is important that we acknowledge that more needs to be done. Malaysia is fully supportive and strongly committed to respect for peace and non-violence, inter-cultural dialogue and social inclusion where human values and dignity are truly celebrated. Malaysia also calls for closer collaboration between all Member States in exploring ways to further sharing of experiences and best practices in enhancing cohesion between individuals, communities and nations. We must not allow irresponsible individuals and groups to spread racism, hate speech, religious discrimination and xenophobia.

 

Madam Chair,

 

4.   Malaysia sees itself as an example of how different ethnic communities can live in peace and harmony and work together for the progress and well-being of the nation. We believe in the importance of mutual respect, tolerance and in promoting understanding and acceptance between different groups, faiths and religions. Differences and peculiarities are embraced as we learn to accept and appreciate the diversity, distinctiveness, and uniqueness of others.  These principles are critical foundations which have allowed us to share ideas and knowledge for the common good of the nation. 

 

5.   As we continue to fight back the COVID-19 pandemic and build back better, we must rise beyond hate and fear, and continue in our resolve to further enhance positive interaction among peoples of diverse cultures and values.

 

6.   Mdm Special Rapporteur, we can all agree that all religions promote the understanding and acceptance of other religions. How do we reconcile the principles of the right of freedom of expression particularly on the infringement of other religions that has been rampant especially on digital platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

Thank you.