Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 10, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and all those who have come together for this vitally important high-level event.
Nearly four years ago to the day, a gunman stormed two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and indiscriminately fired on worshippers. Fifty one Muslims were killed and another 40 were injured. Make no mistake: This was an attack on the entire Muslim community. And it was a painful reminder, to us all, of the deadly consequences of Islamophobia; of the epidemic of anti-Muslim hatred.
Three years after this horrific terrorist attack, the United Nations proclaimed March 15 the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. In doing so, we committed to advancing human rights and freedom of religion for all. And we formally recognized that Muslims are increasingly subject to discrimination and violence.
Last year, the United States determined that members of the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya, many of whom are Muslim.
We have also determined that the Chinese government has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
The international community must continue to condemn these atrocities. We must continue to demand accountability. And we must continue to call for all those unjustly detained in the PRC to be released and reunited with their families.
For our part, the U.S. is committed to rooting out all forms of hate and intolerance at home and around the world. Last September, President Biden hosted the United We Stand Summit to honor Americans working to address discrimination and bigotry. And we have established an interagency group to counter anti-Muslim hatred and religious discrimination wherever and whenever we see it.
Colleagues, as Muslims prepare for the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and caring for communities, let us redouble our efforts to combat prejudice and violence. And let us do everything in our power to ensure the next time we gather for the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, our world is that much more peaceful, tolerant, and just.
Thank you very much.