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OIC warns of rising hate speech in Sri Lanka

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned that it had been “monitoring closely the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka” and that it was concerned over “the rise in incidents of intimidation, anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate speech” on the island.

“The OIC reiterates the call on the authorities in Sri Lanka to counter firmly the spread of rhetoric of hatred and intolerance, while ensuring the security and safety of the Muslim community in that country,” it said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The OIC, which consists of 57 member states, acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s president and prime minister had met with ambassadors in Colombo and said it “appreciates the recent efforts” but warned that there must be “proactive measures to promote dialogue, peace and harmony among all communities”.

“Muslims represent an important and active community, which contributes positively to the cultural and economic life of Sri Lanka as a whole,” it added.

See more from the OIC here.

The statement from the organisation comes amidst rising anti-Muslim incidents on the island, with reports of violence, harassment and intimidation. This week, Human Rights Watch warned that Muslims faced the threats of attacks and further violence, and Muslims stores remained shut in Kandy this weekend as Sinhala Buddhist monks from the extremist Bodu Bala Sean group gathered to meet in the town.