The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed its deep concern over reports on escalating hate speech and hostility towards Muslims in Sri Lanka and rejected allegations holding members of the Muslim community responsible for the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the country.

The General Secretariat of the OIC in a statement issued yesterday also referred to reports that authorities cremated bodies of the Muslim victims of the pandemic and arrested community members who rejected these practices.

The OIC reaffirmed its firm position of rejecting all policies and practices targeting the rights of Muslims anywhere and  called on the authorities in Sri Lanka to ensure the safety, security and rights of the Muslim community, as well as commitment to respect their religious practices and rituals, safeguard their dignity and to stand firmly against all parties behind the promotion of hatred, Islamophobia, and anti- Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka.

The OIC also stressed that the current global juncture requires the involvement of all actors in strengthening the bonds of cooperation and the values of solidarity among states and consolidating cohesion and synergy among constituents of each state to collectively and effectively respond to COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on all societies.