Pakistan assails Islamophobic incidents in Sweden, Netherlands

Pakistan on Monday strongly condemned recent Islamophobic incidents in Sweden and The Netherlands, saying the mindless provocative incidents serve no purpose other than hurting the sensitivities of 1.5 billion Muslims.

"Pakistan strongly condemns the recent abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran during rallies in Sweden," a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

It also strongly condemned the offensive remarks made by a Dutch politician, attacking Islam and the holy month of Ramazan.

The Foreign Office observed that the 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, it added, 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.

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"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 remarked.

The Foreign Office urged the international community to show a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief, and to work together for promoting inter-faith harmony and peaceful co-existence.

That, it observed, 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.

"Pakistan’s concerns have been conveyed to the authorities in Sweden and The Netherlands. 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," the communique said.

Concluding, the Foreign Office called upon the international community to demonstrate solidarity and commitment to the ideals of building peaceful and harmonious societies for the betterment of humanity.

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