Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said Islamophobia in the world had decreased but the Islamic community needs to continue its efforts to correct wrong perceptions about Islam.
The foreign minister made the remarks in an annual coordination meeting of countries grouped in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at the United Nations` headquarters here on Friday (Saturday in Indonesia).
“When we met here last year we were concerned over the negative image of Islam in various parts of the world. Now the frequency of incidents related to Islamophobia has declined,” the Indonesian foreign minister said.
He said the decline in Islamophobia was the result of better communications made by various parties in convincing the world that Islam is a peace-loving and compassionate religion.
In this regard , Indonesia itself, he said, had continued to make efforts to convince the world about the true teachings of Islam.
The efforts included the holding of the Third International Conference of Islamic Scholars in Jakarta in July, a Global Intermedia Dialog and an Interfaith Youth Camp.
“Efforts made by other Islamic countries have also begun to yield results,” Hassan said.
During the coordination meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Indonesian foreign minister also referred to the world`s food crisis and what role the OIC could play to overcome it.
He said food availability was decreasing in line with the increasing world population growth while prices of basic necessaries such as rice and wheat had also increased two-fold.
“As most of us, OIC members, are agricultural countries, we can play a role by increasing our food production,” he said calling on OIC members to put emphasis on development of the agricultural sector.
“Let us empower our farmers,” he said.