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Friday May 17, 2024

Pakistan condemns desecration of Holy Quran in Denmark

FO says Pakistan calls on all states to develop legal deterrence with view to prevent and prosecute such acts

By Mariana Baabar
March 28, 2023
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. — APP/File
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: There appears to be no end to Islamophobia in European capitals and Sunday saw members of a far-right group in Denmark burning a copy of the Quran once again.

The group known as Patrioterne Går in the name of freedom of expression was allowed this despicable act of burning on a Facebook Live broadcast. They also displayed Islamophobic banners and burned the Turkish flag in front of the Turkish embassy.

Like other Muslim states, Pakistan also strongly condemned yet another abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran and said such acts can in no way be a smokescreen for freedom of expression. It called on all states to develop legal deterrence with a view to preventing and prosecuting such acts, in line with the responsibilities and duties enshrined in international human rights law.

“The recurrence of such wilful and vile acts is a troubling manifestation of growing hatred, racism and phobia against Muslims and their faith. The repeated occurrence of such premeditated acts calls into question the efficacy of the legal framework behind which Islamophobes hide and incite hatred with impunity”, said the Foreign Office (FO).

But there was no mention so far of summoning the Danish ambassador to lodge a protest, instead it called upon the international human rights machinery to speak out against such intentional actions that constitute incitement to hate, discrimination and violence against Muslims solely because of their faith. “The exercise of the right to freedom of expression cannot be used as a smokescreen to deliberately denigrate the Holy scriptures or personalities of any religion”, the Foreign Office added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan strongly condemned the raid by Israeli forces on Al Aqsa Mosque on the third day of the holy month of Ramazan, expelling the worshippers and violating the sanctity of the Mosque – one of the holiest sites of Muslims. “Such reprehensible attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli occupation forces, during the holy month of Ramazan, have become a regular feature in recent years. These acts not only constitute grave violation of fundamental right to freedom of religion or belief of the Palestinian people but also an affront to the religious sentiments of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.”, said the Foreign Office.

It pointed out that the indiscriminate use of force by Israeli occupation forces against defenseless Palestinians defies all humanitarian and human rights norms and laws. “By carrying out the illegal raids, Israel has backed out on its own recent commitment to respect the sanctity of Ramazan”, it stated.

Pakistan calls upon the international community to take urgent action to put an end to the Israeli transgressions that have been particularly ascendant since the beginning of this year. “We reaffirm our unstinted support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause, and renew our call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital being the only just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the Palestinian question, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions”, it added.