- FO says such acts can’t be condoned under guise of freedom of expression
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan condemned in the strongest terms the latest senseless and deeply offensive act of desecration of the Holy Quran outside embassies of Muslim countries in The Hague, Netherlands, terming it a “deliberately provocative and Islamophobic act”, the Foreign Office said on Monday.
“It is a deliberately provocative and Islamophobic act that has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world. Such acts cannot be condoned under the guise of freedom of expression, opinion and protest,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) read.
🔊: PR NO. 1️⃣8️⃣6️⃣/2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣
Desecration of the Holy Quran in The Hague, Netherlands
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) September 25, 2023
It added that the country believes that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities.
Pakistan also urged the governments of different countries to actively prevent racist and Islamophobic acts, which incite religious hatred.
“It is important for the international community to raise its voice against Islamophobia and work in concert to promote interfaith harmony,” the statement also said while referring to the 2022 United Nations resolution on combating Islamophobia.
It further stated that Islamabad has conveyed its concerns to the Dutch authorities. “We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and Muslims around the world and take active steps to prevent such hateful and Islamophobic acts.”
It may be noted that the incidents of Quran burning and desecration have been on the rise for the last few months.
Last month, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed grave concern over an increase in Islamophobia after a spike in incidents of Holy Quran burning in Nordic nations.
Notorious people, with their governments’ approval, have in the last few weeks desecrated the holy book in Sweden and Denmark, inviting strong criticism from Muslim countries.
The 18th Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the OIC adopted a comprehensive resolution expressing grave concern over increasing incidents of intolerance, discrimination, and rising Islamophobia, a statement from the Foreign Office said.
Later, the government in Denmark, which is one of the countries where such incidents happen frequently, said it has prepared a bill that — if passed — could lead to a countrywide ban on Quran burnings, amidst rising terror threats and outrage in the Muslim world.