A UN expert on racism on Friday branded the defamation of religions - in particular critical portrayals of Islam in the West - a threat to world peace.
"Islamophobia today is the most serious form of religious defamation," Doudou Diene told the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently holding a three-week session in Geneva.
Diene cited a caricature of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in a Swedish newspaper, a protest by far-right groups in Belgium Tuesday against the "Islamization of Europe," and campaigns against the construction of mosques in Germany and Switzerland as evidence of an "ever increasing trend" toward anti-Islamic actions in Europe.
"We see the initiatives and activities of many groups and organizations which are working hard to bring about a war of civilizations," he said, adding that right-wing groups were trying to equate Islam with violence and terrorism.
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