Follow Us on Google News
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has strongly condemn the recent abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran during rallies in Sweden and 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,” the Foreign office said in a statement.
“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”
The FO 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.”
It added that 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.
“That has been the spirit behind the OIC’s recent initiative led by Pakistan at the UN General Assembly to designate 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia,” the statement said.
The FO said Pakistan’s concerns have been conveyed to the authorities in Sweden and The Netherlands and they have been urged to take cognizance of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims worldwide and take steps to prevent Islamophobic incidents.
It called on the international community to demonstrate solidarity and commitment to the ideals of building peaceful and harmonious societies for the betterment of humanity.
Police in Sweden have arrested at least 26 people in the wake of weekend clashes in the cities of Norrkoping and Linkoping against the planned desecration of the Holy Quran by a far-right extremist group.
Eight people were arrested in Norrkoping and 18 others were held in Linkoping, police said in a statement on Monday, adding that protesters in Norrkoping threw stones at officers and set cars on fire.
On Sunday, clashes erupted in both cities for the second time in four days over rallies by anti-immigration and anti-Islam group Hard Line, led by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan.
At least ten people were hospitalised with minor injuries following the clashes and similar unrest in Linkoping, where the far-right Hard Line also abandoned a demonstration. The violence began after a demonstration was organised by Paludan.
Police and protesters have been engaged in clashes over the past days beginning, leading to injuries to several officers and the torching of multiple vehicles. On Sunday, they rallied again to protest against another gathering which Paludan abandoned.