The resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly on any issue carry no legal or binding force. The UN archive is full of such resolutions on conflicts, past or ongoing, but they have hardly had any impact. However, they have a moral force and manifest the collective will and intent of nations committing themselves to support or oppose a particular issue. So let it be the case with the resolution adopted by the UNGA on Wednesday condemning the rising incidents of terrorism with reference to the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch which left more than 50 Muslims dead.
The March 15 attack was not an isolated incident. The narrative developed by crusade writers found a new expression when Bernrad Lewis coined the ‘Clash of Civilization’ term which was later developed into a full-fledged theory by Samuel Huntington, and helped construct the image of Muslims as enemy of the Western civilisation. This narrative soon became the new political world order put into practice after 9/11.
While the Muslim world might also have contributed towards the making of its negative image and the rise of militancy, the West, recalling the fears associated with the intrusion and expansion of the Ottoman Empire, turned introvert once again drawing inspiration from religious beliefs and a false sense of racial superiority. The manifesto which the Australian killer of 50 people circulated is a clear indication of such a collective mindset brewing up lately in the West.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern was probably mindful of this prevailing mindset when she tried to take a different but a firm stance on this act of terrorism. The sentiment grew louder in the words of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Speaking on the resolution, the FM rightly drew the attention of the world on this change of mindset and reminded that “Islamophobia and racism go hand in hand.” He also referred to reckless political voices from the West who “use distorted historical narratives and toxic conspiracy theories to equate Islam with terrorism.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2019.
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