Pakistan PM asks world to condemn Quran desecration in Sweden, Dutch MP’s ‘Islamophobia’

    Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the international community to condemn incidents of Islamophobia in Sweden and the Netherlands and take steps to check such abhorrent behaviour.

    More than 40 people have been arrested after violent clashes in Sweden between police and people angry at plans by a far-right group to desecrate copies of the Holy Quran. The violence was sparked by a series of rallies organised by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, who said he had burned a copy of the holy book and wanted to do so again.

    The incident followed Islamophobic and derogatory statements made by Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders on his social media account against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) last week.

    “People of Pakistan and Muslims around the world are deeply hurt by the recent incidents,” PM Shehbaz tweeted.

    “The international community must condemn these incidents & take steps to check such abhorrent behaviour. We must stand united against Islamophobia,” he added.

    On Monday, the Foreign Office in Pakistan had also strongly condemned the recent abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran during rallies in Sweden.

    The FO said that Pakistan also strongly condemned the offensive remarks made by a Dutch politician, attacking Islam and the Muslim holy month of Ramazan.

    “These mindless provocative Islamophobic incidents serve no purpose other than hurting the sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims living all over the world. Such actions are not covered under legitimate expressions of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, which carry responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence,” it said.

    “Muslims, including in Pakistan, unequivocally condemn the practice of insulting Islam, Christianity and Judaism alike, and stand against all acts of violence on the basis of religion or belief. These principles must be equally respected and supported by all.”

    The international community needs to show a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief, and work together for promoting inter-faith harmony and peaceful co-existence, Pakistan had urged, adding that the same had been the spirit behind the OIC’s recent initiative led by Pakistan at the UN General Assembly to designate March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

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