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Global Muslim Groups Unite, Issue Historic Declaration Marking March 15th as International Day to Combat Islamophobia


Muslim advocacy groups operating in over 30 countries pledge to cooperate in struggle against global Islamophobia

(WASHINGTON D.C., 3/15/2023) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today joined an international coalition of Muslim advocacy organizations to issue a joint declaration commemorating March 15th, the first UN-recognized International Day to Combat Islamophobia, and announcing their intent to cooperate in the global struggle against anti-Muslim bigotry.

The joint declaration, the first ever issued by Muslim civic organizations around the world, was signed by Muslim organizations active in over 30 different countries, including Australia, Belgium, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

SEE: International Muslim Unity Declaration Marking International Day to Combat Islamophobia

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) first commemorated March 15th in 2021. OIC member states then encouraged the United Nations to adopt a similar resolution commemorating the day, which the international body did in 2022. March 15th marks the anniversary of the anti-Muslim mass shooting that took the lives of 51 men, women and children in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In their joint statement released today, CAIR and Muslim community groups around the world made the following joint calls to action: 

Nations should recognize the UN International Day to Combat Islamophobia  

Muslim-majority nations should challenge Islamophobia internationally    

All governments should protect places of worship from hate crimes     

Political leaders should engage with their Muslim constituents

Communities should build bridges with neighbors of different faiths

In the declaration, the groups noted, “Those who target Muslims want us to give up. They want us to stop caring about each other. They want us to stop working with our diverse neighbors. We say, No. We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and all victims of injustice in not only our respective countries, but around the world.”

In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Esq., said:

“This is a historic moment for American Muslims and the global Muslim community. For the first time ever, major Muslim advocacy groups operating in over 30 countries have united across borders, oceans and continents to confront the threat of global Islamophobia together. 

“Anti-Muslim bigotry has spread from country to country, inspiring religious discrimination, hate crimes, ethnic cleansing and even genocide. Just as anti-Muslim extremists around the world have united to spread hate, Muslims around the world must unite with each other and people of goodwill to advance justice for all.”

In a statement, CAIR Research & Advocacy Director Corey Saylor said:

“In America we say religious freedom is a core value. Some fear mongers instead want us to not act on our values. Projecting uncompromising support for religious freedom to the world by creating a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia is nothing but a win for our ideals.”

Saylor noted that Uyghur Muslims face genocide in China, Rohingya Muslims face ethnic cleansing in Burma, Indian Muslims face lynchings and other acts of mass violence, and Muslims in European nations like France have faced mosque closures, hijab bans and other acts of discrimination.

The groups endorsing the statement are: 

Asociación Musulmana por los Derechos Humanos (AMDEH) (Spain)

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (Australia)

Comité Justice & Libertés Pour Tous (France)

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (United States)

Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations – FEMYSO (Europe) Islamophobia Studies Center (USA)

Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (USA)

International Islamophobia Studies and Research Association (multiple nations) Islamophobia Studies Journal (multiple nations)

The March 15 Forum – Combating Islamophobia (USA)

MPower Change (USA)

Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) (United Kingdom)

US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) (USA).

The following organizations expressed support for the statement: The Collective for Countering Islamophobia in Europe (CCIE) (Europe) and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) (USA)


The UN General Assembly established the global recognition last year after a report concluded that international Islamophobia has reached “epidemic proportions.” The date coincides with the fourth commemoration of the Christchurch, New Zealand massacre when 51 New Zealand Muslims were murdered by an agent of hate. Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation first commemorated the day in 2021 and subsequently pushed for UN recognition.

SEE: International Day to Combat Islamophobia 15 March

SEE ALSO: Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed