PM hails Putin’s remarks against Islamophobia

Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks against Islamophobia, saying that the latter’s statement reaffirmed his stance that “insulting our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not freedom of expression”.

“I welcome President Putin’s statement which reaffirms my message that insulting our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not freedom of expression. We Muslims, especially Muslim leaders, must spread this message to leaders of the non-Muslim world to counter Islamophobia,” the prime minister tweeted.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that disrespecting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) does not count as the “expression of artistic freedom”.

Blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam,” he said while addressing his annual news conference on Thursday.

Putin said these acts give rise to extremist reprisals, citing as an example the attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris after it published blasphemous sketches of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

Putin also criticised posting photos of Nazis on websites such as the one titled the Immortal Regiment and dedicated to Russians who died in World War II.

While praising artistic freedom in general, Putin said it has its limits and it shouldn’t infringe on other freedoms.

Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, so Russians, he said, are used to respecting each other’s traditions.

“In some other countries, this respect comes in short supply,” he remarked.

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