The international community should counter the spread of Islamophobia partly due to "misinformation and misperceptions", participants at a UN counter-terrorism conference said.
Speaking at the 3-day conference, experts said there is a need for the international community to counter the spread of Islamophobia, which they noted has been growing in recent years partly because of misinformation and misperceptions about the religion.
The emergence of "misguided groups" that have deviated from the straight path to fanaticism, violence and extremism, attributing their acts to Islam, in no way justifies associating this phenomenon with the Islamic faith, they said during the conference titled "Terrorism: Dimensions, Threats and Countermeasures" in Tunis.
"It profits from weak State capacity to maintain law and order," said co-chair and Tunisian Culture and Preservation of Heritage Minister Mohamed El Aziz Ben Achour, during the concluding session on November 17.
"These vulnerable areas are exploited by terrorists to mobilize recruits and justify violence. None of the religions are a cause of political radicalism and extremism. Religious doctrine may be 'tools of mobilization,' rather than a direct cause," he said at the conference which was jointly organized by the UN's Department of Political Affairs and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Participants agreed that terrorism flourishes in environments where there is discontent, exclusion, humiliation, poverty, political oppression and human rights abuses, as well as in countries engaged in regional conflicts.