International Conference On Islamophobia

THE UNION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD (UNIW)
FINAL DECLERATION, DECEMBER 8-9, 2007 – ISTANBUL

Islamophobia is a dark and dirty tool of a global depression. In today’s world, when we deeply need multiculturalism, pluralism and the understanding of living together, Islamophobia is the biggest betrayal carried out against the peace of the world. Islamophobia is an obvious discrimination and violation of the human rights. Therefore, Islamophobia must be considered a crime like anti-Semitism; decisions must be taken and laws must be made against Islamophobia by national and international law mechanisms.
Our world is intentionally and deliberately desired to be transformed into a planet where the fear is dominant, security is a matter of crisis and culture of living together is declined. The hegemonic powers’ policies that are self-interested and negligent of the law and human rights threaten the peace and comfort of the mankind. The events like the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, the slaughter of hundred of thousands of innocent people, the conviction of millions of Palestinians to a life of refuge, the exposition of Caucasus and Kashmiri people to dreadful cruelties for decades and their being deprived of their internationally legal rights are all the results of the same mentality. These policies, especially after the collapse of the eastern bloc, are nourished by Anti-Islamism and Islamophobia. Fear-based policies have resulted in so many tragic events; if nobody takes lessons from the past and today nobody takes the essential precautions, then the future Islamophobia may present similar outcomes.
The discriminative applications that Muslims are exposed; the verbal and physical assaults targeting at devoted individuals and groups, and prayer places; the deprivation of Muslims from their basic rights; contemptuous, unkind and insulting broadcasts and expressions on Islamic values and sacred things; the political, sociological and psychological oppressions and applications performed to prevent the implementation of religious merits; every kind of bad treatment that the Muslim is subjected to while serving or being served in the sectors of politics, education, health and business should be evaluated under the scope of Islamophobia. No one can be condemned, insulted or offended because of performing the requirements of his/her religion. No one can be inhibited from practicing his/her religion, hampered from implementing his/her choices and submitted to discrimination due to his religious way of life.
Islamophobia is a dark and dirty tool of a global depression. In today’s world, when we deeply need multiculturalism, pluralism and the understanding of living together, Islamophobia is the biggest betrayal carried out against the peace of the world. Islamophobia is an obvious discrimination and violation of the human rights. Therefore, Islamophobia must be considered a crime like anti-Semitism; decisions must be taken and laws must be made against Islamophobia by national and international law mechanisms.
In the last century, there has been a great, worldwide inclination towards religion and spirituality. Mankind has begun to eliminate the lack in his soul with the assistance of spiritual means and to question the secularization. Especially, although Islamic countries stayed undeveloped in comparison with the western countries, it scares some circles that the interest towards Islam is increasing; Islam is the fastest-growing religion and the number of devotees in the Islamic countries is rising day by day. Islamophobia is the name of the global war on Islam against spirituality and any religious values.
Media organs are used as the most effective instruments in the formation and spread of Islamophobia. Constant violent broadcasts resulting from ignorance of Islam and Muslims bring about misconceptions and misperceptions in public and this case causes Islamophobia to take roots in public. Especially, mentioning of Islam together with “terror” and “violence” and identifying Muslims and Islam with the terms such as “Islamofascism”, “fundamentalism” and “reaction” hurt public conscience deeply and cause irrecoverable damages on the souls of Muslims.
The major factors in the formation and spread of Islamophobia are media organs and programs of educational institutions as well as systematic disinformation activities implemented with various instruments.
Struggles against Islamophobia should politically, legally and economically be maintained on national and international grounds; systematically and strategically on educational grounds through professional instruments. Systematic information studies should be strengthened against systematic disinformation and manipulation activities. Our conference appreciates and supports non-Muslim ecclesiastics’ contribution to combating Islamophobia as well.
Islamic World should increase the feelings of cooperation and solidarity and put “proper presentation” and “effective representation” into practice. They should courageously make self-criticism if necessary and should bravely discuss not the values they believe in but their failure in the implementation and presentation of the values to their own people and others.
Muslim nations made political and sociological progresses whenever they live in accordance with the values of Islam and fell back whenever they got away from the values of Islam. The main causes of Islamic world’s having a life standard below the world standards are their indifference to the facts of Islam and not reflecting the essence and real aspects of it to their lives. Especially socio-economic underdevelopments of Islamic countries do the groundwork for misconception and misperception of Islam and Muslims. Besides, this case provides opportunity for Islamophobic policies, publications, and approaches. Therefore, socio-economic development progresses and development plans of the Islamic counties have a vital significance.
Our Conference condemns all kinds of anti-Islamic and Islamophobic publications, policies and events; regretfully condemns the persons and institutes using the Muslims as the instruments of political and economical interest.
Our Conference believes that Islamophobia strengthens the ‘war of civilizations’, ‘war inside the civilization’, ‘war of religions’ and similar catastrophic scenarios and thinks that all the measures must be taken for a strong presence of Muslims.
At this point, our conference desires to address at the political environs, governments, representatives of non-governmental organizations, all the religion leaders, media organs, international institutions, and international public opinion with the following title:
ISTANBUL DECLARATION
1. Combating Islamophobia is to be one of the main duties of all the people, all the institutions and all the governments for worldwide peace.
2. The national and international decision making mechanisms must know that their political plans based on Islamophobia and anti-Islamism will result in nothing beneficial but driving our planet through a sphere of chaos.
3. Islamophobic media organs, the institutions applying discrimination against Muslims, the organizations acting in Islamophobic manners are to be boycotted.
4. All kinds of lobby activities must be carried out against the decisions, policies and the laws taken and will be taken by the national and international decision making mechanisms and law-makers using the instrument of Islamophobia.
5. The multimedia products stirring up and spreading Islamophobia must be consistently boycotted.
6. In combating Islamophobia, the multimedia products must be used more efficiently, sufficient funds must be saved and the most appropriate projects must be applied.
7. We have to be the people of action, not the people of reaction. We have to plan and apply two sided proactive education activities targeting both insiders and outsiders to remove the prejudices and misunderstandings. Therefore, political, intellectual and religious leadership are notably important.
8. New institutes raising specialized people must be founded and supported for stopping Islamophobia from being a new cause of oppression against Muslims and a new but dirty key opening the evil doors.
9. In combating Islamophobia, we appreciate the activities of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and desire them to be more cooperative with all the volunteer organizations, notably UNIW. Especially, the locally leading countries of the Islamic World must act in the knowledge of their historical responsibilities.
10. Islamic all the Non-Governmental Organizations and particularly the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World must persistently and vigorously take necessary precautions on civil basis. A Monitoring Centre Committee must be established under the body of The Union of NGOs of The Islamic World (UNIW) and this committee must warn and inform international decision-making mechanisms, media organs and world public opinion with periodic reports.
11. Finally, our conference severely condemns the occupations of Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Caucasus at first and other unjust occupations and rejects any type of global policy based on this axis.

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