ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday demanded from the world community to declare sacrilege a crime globally.
Sacrilege was intolerable for the Muslims, as it was not the issue of freedom of expression instead it was the question of violence on earth, he said.
Addressing the Ishq-e-Rasool Conference (Love for Holy Prophet PBUH) here Friday, the prime minister said that freedom of expression didn’t mean that revered personalities be made a target, adding that protest against such despicable acts was our religious duty.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that the world today was threatened by the religious extremism and one of the reasons of extremism was disrespect to other religions.He said that the miscreants have targeted the greatest personality of the universe whom no power on earth could ever cause any damage.
Raja Pervez Ashraf said that the sentiments of the Muslims were not taken care of, while the debate on holocaust was forbidden. Pakistan has the right to protest against the anti-Islam film and added that all the religions, beliefs and the revered personalities must be respected.
He said that Pakistan was the only Islamic country observing protest day officially and this was not all but President Asif Ali Zardari would be taking up this issue in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
He said anti-social elements were using the concept of freedom of speech in an offensive manner, adding that, Islam was a religion of peace and preached respect for all faiths.
He warned if such actions did not stop, they would create instability worldwide. He said we want such a resolution of the matter which has international support and protection so that such sacrilegious acts could be averted in future.
He pointed out that desecration of last Prophet Hazrat Mohammad [Peace Be Upon Him] has witnessed an upsurge in recent years in the name of freedom of expression. He said this is not freedom of expression. This is more about hatred and demonstrates blatant double standards.
Pervez Ashraf said the personality of holy Prophet Mohammad [Peace Be Upon Him} is paramount to the principles of our great faith of peace, tolerance and harmony and central to the beliefs of Muslims. He said an attack on the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad [Peace Be Upon Him] is an attack on the core belief of 1.5 billion muslims. This is something that is unacceptable. Our faith remains incomplete without total devotion and reverence to the Prophet. The anguish and hurt is even more deep after the discovery that the profane act was based on biased, hatred and prejudice.
He said we appreciate those in the international community who joined Muslims in condemning this act.
He said the Holy Prophet gave the message of peace and harmony. He appealed the nation to maintain peace and avoid violence. It is our collective responsibility to protest peacefully without causing harm or damage to properties or lives. He said as the punishment of one's crime can't be given to another person, similarly it is not right to damage the foreign diplomatic missions. He urged the Ulema and Mashaikh to use their influence over masses to help stopping the violence.
The Prime Minister said the Islamic countries should formulate a unified policy to impress upon the world community that the Muslims are enraged over the profane acts and want an end of them. He said irrevervance and disrespect to other's religions is the root cause of extremism. He said world peace could only be ensured by giving respect to the sentiments of all faiths.
On its part, the Prime Minister said, Pakistan has started interfaith dialogue process and also carved out a ministry for minorities affairs. Appreciating the minorities for their support in the wake of screening of blasphemous film, Pervez Ashraf said we will also stand shoulder to shoulder with them for the protection of their rights.
He said it was the right of the Pakistani people to express their strong sentiments against the blasphemous movie. He however emphasized that these sentiments need to be given a constructive direction in order to transform the Muslims into a socio economic and political power.