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November 24, 2019

Minorities’ leaders slam desecration incident in Norway, demand action


November 24, 2019

Various civil society and minorities organisations, including the National Commission for Justice and Peace, Interfaith Commission for Peace and Harmony (ICPH) and Pakistan Sikh Council, on Saturday organised a protest demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club against the attempt of an extremist group to set fire to copies of the Holy Quran in Norway on November 19.

A large number of members of the Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities participated in the protest to condemn the Norway incident and express solidarity with the Muslims.

In a joint press release, Joseph Cardinal Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, and Very Rev. Fr. Saleh Diego said it was a sad moment for everyone and the Christians were condemning the desecration of the holy book. “We should respect all the religions and expect others to respect ours.”

The protesters demanded that the Norwegian government strictly handle such actions and bring the perpetrators to justice. A Christian woman, Advocate Tabasum, said the incident had hurt sentiments of the Muslims. She said Norwegians were peaceful people and Norway enjoyed a good reputation around the world as it respected the rights of other religions but this act of few fundamentalists has tarnished its image.

ICPH Chairman Allama Muhammad Ahsan Siddiqui condemned the incident and requested the United Nations to address this issue for the sake of harmony and peace in the world. Such sacrilegious acts go against the concept of inter-faith harmony and threaten the multicultural fabric of societies, he said.

Pakistan Sikh Council Patron-in-Chief Sardar Ramesh Singh said, “Being a Sikh, I strongly condemn this shameful act as it is against the teaching of my religion too.”

Pandit Sham Lal Sharma said all the Hindus could feel the pain of their Muslim brothers and sisters as he urged the government of Norway to take strong action against the culprits.

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