UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Tuesday against the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, less than one month ago. He also referred to the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last year, calling it “the worst anti-Semitic terrorist attack in United States history.”
Guterres spoke at Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, during his visit, saying “hate speech is entering the mainstream, spreading like wildfire through social media and radio.” He urged that in this time of difficulties and division, “we must stand together and protect each other.”
Guterres commended the signing of A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in February by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, calling it “a fantastic testimony of mutual respect, tolerance, compassion and peace, given by the two great religious leaders to the world.” Guterres said that the document “calls on religious and political leaders to bring an end to wars, conflicts, and environmental decay.”
Guterres reaffirm the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. “At the heart of our efforts, we must uphold and promote human dignity and universal human rights,” he said.