The gravest terrorist threat in the world today is Islamophobia, foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference said this week.
“It is something that has assumed xenophobic proportions,” they said.
The ministers described Islamophobia as a deliberate defamation of Islam and discrimination and intolerance against Muslims. They accused Western media of misrepresenting Islam and Muslims worldwide, according to a report in Arab News.
“The linkage of terrorists and extremists with Islam in a generalized manner is unacceptable," the ministers said.
"The increasingly negative political and media discourse targeting Muslims and Islam in the United States and Europe has made things all the more difficult," the foreign ministers said, according to the report.
“This campaign of calumny against Muslims resulted in the publication of the blasphemous cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a Danish newspaper and the issuance of the inflammatory statement by Pope Benedict XVI,” the ministers said.
The ministers said the Islamophobic terror threat predates this decade, but worsened on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Islamophobia became a source of concern, especially after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but the phenomenon was already there in Western societies in one form or the other," they said.
“It gained further momentum after the Madrid and London bombings. The killing of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh in 2004 was used in a wicked manner by certain quarters to stir up a frenzy against Muslims."