Show no tolerance towards intolerance - GulfToday

Show no tolerance towards intolerance


Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session. Reuters

The world community needs to join hands and send out a clear and loud message that racism, bigotry and xenophobia are a bane that have no place in a sane society.

In a latest incident of racism in football, a video circulated on social media ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League match at Slavia Prague this week showed a group of six supporters chanting racist abuse against Egypt forward Mohamed Salah repeatedly.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has not only condemned the disgusting racist abuse aimed at Salah, but has also rightly called for lifetime bans for the Chelsea fans accused of taunting the Liverpool star.

Liverpool has stated that the video showed “vile discriminatory chants” and is “dangerous and disturbing”, while Chelsea has issued a statement pledging to use all available punishments against those involved.

The culprits should be identified at the earliest and forced to face the law.

It may be recalled that four Chelsea supporters were previously suspended by the club after Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was racially abused at Stamford Bridge in December.

Bigotry comes in varied forms. There are many instances of helpless migrants and refugees facing the worst form of hatred.

In a heartfelt briefing to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stated that during his three and a half decades as an international civil servant, he had never seen such toxicity, such poisonous language in politics, media and social media, directed towards refugees, migrants and foreigners.

Grandi emphasised that the stigmatisation of refugees and migrants was unprecedented and that traditional responses to refugee crises appeared increasingly inadequate.

The best way to tackle the issue is strong political will and improved responses, as enshrined by the UN Global Compact for Refugees, adopted last December.

The UN Security Council has a critical role to play, particularly in terms of solving peace and security crises, supporting countries that are hosting refugees, and working to remove obstacles to solutions.

As indicated by Grandi, the consequences of the toxic language surrounding refugees and migration can be gauged by the example of the recent mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 49 innocent people dead.

The response of the New Zealand government is certainly a good example of effective leadership and how to respond to such toxicity, in a firm and organised manner, restating solidarity with refugees, and reaffirming the principle that our societies cannot be truly prosperous, stable and peaceful, if they do not include everyone.

The UAE, on its part, is a shining example of cultural and religious diversity, which proudly hosts over 120 churches and many other places of worship that belong to religious minorities living in the country.

As part of the “Istanbul Process” regarding the implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution No. 16/18 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatisation, discrimination and violence against people for their religion or beliefs, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Group in Geneva, recently participated in a relevant meeting organised by the European Union.

Al Zaabi well concluded that open communities, which are free from racism and extremist ideologies, can achieve economic, cultural and social successes. That is aptly proved by the UAE’s experience over 47 years.

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