Attributable to the Spokesperson of the High Representative
for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
On the Burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden
New York – 22 January, 2023
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos unequivocally condemns the vile act of burning the holy Quran in Sweden on Saturday by leader of the far-right party Hard Line.
While the High Representative stresses the importance of upholding the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, he also emphasizes that the act of Quran-burning, amounts to an expression of hatred towards Muslims. It is disrespectful and insulting to the adherents of Islam and should not be conflated with freedom of expression. The High Representative recalls the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/Res/75/258 of 26 January 2021 (OP 6) that reaffirms that the exercise of freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities in accordance with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; The High Representative expresses his deep concern at the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religious and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, antisemitism and Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions or beliefs.
The High Representative further stresses that mutual respect is essential for building and promoting just, inclusive and peaceful societies rooted in human rights and dignity for all.
In this context, the High-Representative recalls the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites led by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which provides an overarching framework and a set of recommendations including strengthening religious pluralism and promoting intercultural and interreligious dialogue , mutual respect and understanding.
Nihal Saad, UNAOC Chief of Cabinet , Senior Advisor on Policy and Spokesperson for the High Representative
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