Special Reporter of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission Abdelfattah Amor, in a recent interview with the Associated Pres, called for international efforts to combat religious extremism, which he called “an ever-growing scourge” in the world. Amor cited the Taliban as the greatest example of how religious extremists are “using religion as a political tool in the interest of power,” and noted that, as in Afghanistan, it is vulnerable groups like women and minorities that are the target for religious extremist groups. In a report on incidents that were not in compliance with the 1981 UN Declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief, Amor noted that religious extremism is a serious problem in many countries: Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka as well as Afghanistan. Amor called for international cooperation in resisting religious extremism. The UN will hold a conference next November in Madrid on school education and freedom of religion, tolerance, and nondiscrimination.
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