WORLD

EU foreign policy chief calls Islamophobia a threat to Europe

"The rising Islamophobia is not only a threat for Muslims but for the whole European society as it threatens our diversity. The strength of our societies lies in our diversity, and whoever attacks the diversity of our societies attacks the entire society not just one segment of it. This is why for the European Union, institutions, for me personally, for all our member states, it is a priority to make sure that Islamophobia doesn't find any place in the European Union," Federica Mogherini said during press conference in Islamabad on Monday.

The EU foreign policy chief on Monday said rising Islamophobia is a threat to the entire European society.

"The rising Islamophobia is not only a threat for Muslims but for the whole European society as it threatens our diversity," Federica Mogherini said at a joint news press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in capital Islamabad on Monday.

Mogherini is currently on a visit to Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani officials for promotion of economic and social relations apart from strategic ties between the two sides, said a statement from the Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

"The strength of our societies lies in our diversity, and whoever attacks the diversity of our societies attacks the entire society not just one segment of it," Mogherini was quoted as saying by local broadcaster Dawn News.

"This is why for the European Union, institutions, for me personally, for all our member states, it is a priority to make sure that Islamophobia doesn't find any place in the European Union," she went on to say, according to the broadcaster.

Endorsing her views, Qureshi expressed concern over mounting trend of Islamophobia.

"It (Islamophobia) should be a cause of great concern for the EU as well since it houses a sizable number of Muslims", he noted.

Referring to a recent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called by Turkey to discuss the causes, impacts and way forward in the aftermath of the mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, Qureshi said he had presented a comprehensive plan to tackle Islamophobia across the world.

The two hailed the New Zealand's premier Jacinda Ardern for her courageous and timely response to deadly Christchurch mosques shooting terming it a "different way" to handle Islamophobia.

Mogherini also offered her condolences to the families of nine Pakistanis who were among 50 people killed in the terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch earlier this month.

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