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Friday, April 12, 2024  
03 Shawwal 1445  

PM says Sweden will have to answer on desecration of Quran as Parliament passes resolution

Urges UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene special session to invite Muslim world leaders
Pakistan strongly condemns incident in Sweden, PM Shehbaz addresses National Assembly - Aaj News

A joint session of Parliament passed unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, condemning the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden and demanding adequate action.

“This house believes in respecting all religions, beliefs and their Holy Books,” it stated.

Last week, a man desecrated a copy of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque after the country’s court and police authorities gave him such permission.

It was widely condemned by the world and protests were organised in many Muslim countries, demanding the West to discourage Islamophobia.

The resolution, which was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javeed Abbasi on behalf of all parties in the House, urged relevant international organisations and states to legislate and criminalise the desecration of Holy symbols of religions including Holy books, personalities, places of worship and followers.

The House resolved that the international community should take “appropriate measures for promoting interfaith harmony to ensure that any act that hurt religious sentiments might never take place in future”.

“Appropriate steps be taken by Swedish authorities against the perpetrator(s) including but not limited to legal action, and to ensure that no such act takes place in future,” it added.

The House also urged that incidents of Islamophobia be dealt with the same seriousness as hate against other religions. The joint session acknowledged the convening of the OIC session for providing a platform to compile recommendations and devise a collective future strategy to counter Islamophobia.

Sweden will have to clear its position at all costs: PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has demanded of Sweden to clear its position ‘at all costs’ on the Holy Quran’s desecration, saying that condemnation was not enough.

“Why did they let it happen, I think this is the question for which the Swedish government at all costs has to clear its position and give an answer,” he said during a joint session of Parliament convened to register a protest over the incident on Thursday.

Though the premier acknowledged the Swedish government’s decision to finally condemn it, wondered why the Scandinavian country allowed such an incident to happen. “This is the main point. If they realised it later and it’s a second thought so it’s good. But why did they let it happen, I think this is the question for which the Swedish government at all costs has to clear its position and give an answer.”

The premier urged the speaker of the house to form a committee, having members from all parties, for passing a unanimous resolution. He clarified that the country was not against freedom of speech, but he wondered if anyone was allowed to speak against any religion “under the garb” of such a law.

Read: Quran is sacred for Muslims, should be sacred for everyone else: Putin

PM Shehbaz urged the august House to present recommendations to raise voices in the United Nations while condemning the incident “strong” and “strictest” way.

No law allowed such a right, he added.

“We should raise a voice in coordination with all Muslim world and tell the whole world that billions of followers of Islam will not accept this worst act. This is crossing the limits of tolerance,” he said and reminded NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf this was not the first time that such an incident took place in Sweden.

PM Shehbaz has claimed that people behind the desecration of the Holy Quran wanted to create rifts between Muslims and Christians. “We should take all legal and political steps to make the mischief of this mischievous person [who desecrated the Holy Quran] should be made an example of,” he said.

The premier was of the view that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was the best forum for raising a voice against such incidents.

Read: Muslim faith, religious feelings should be respected, says China

In its meeting on July 2, the Islamic grouping of 57 states called for collective measures to prevent acts of desecration of the Quran and international law should be used to stop religious hatred.

PM Shehbaz added that the whole Muslim world has to raise its voice against such acts and unanimously condemn it. “We have to warn that if anyone did such an act then they should not complain to us.”

He urged the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene a special session to invite the Muslim world leaders, adopt a condemnatory resolution and also warn the Swedish government and such individuals against the recurrence of such condemnable acts.

The prime minister urged the National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to form a committee with a mandate to formulate recommendations for their onward dissemination to the world including international organisations so that such acts could be prevented.

He said as per their belief, Muslims revered all religions and revealed books including Bible as Holy Quran taught patience and harmony. He claimed despite that, such deliberate Islamophobic acts were being carried out to pit Muslims against Christians.

Read: United Nations to debate Quran desecration stunt on Pakistan’s request

PM Shehbaz added that the peaceful protests should not be construed as a “weakness” and that no one should complain about the consequences if such condemnable actions were repeated.

He said as the country would observe the Sanctity of Holy Quran Day on Friday, the whole nation should stage rallies across the country to condemn the desecration of the Quran and convey their sentiments to the world.

PM Shehbaz urged the House to put forward suggestions which would be raised at the UN platform to tell the world that the billions of Muslims will not allow such hateful acts to be repeated.

He spoke about former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern for her support to the Muslims, after an Islamophobic attack against Muslims, which was a positive attempt to establish peace between Muslims and Christians.

He told the House that he was trying to contact the UN secretary general to request him for convening an urgent session to invite the Muslim leaders and adopt a condemnatory resolution. “I will also ask him to warn such governments and individuals against redoing such acts aimed at fanning hatred.”

The prime minister thanked Pope Francis for condemning the act saying his dissociation from such Islamophobic action gave a positive image.

The prime minister said he would convey the parliamentary resolution to the Swedish government as the Foreign Office was also making its due efforts on the diplomatic fronts.

Later, NA Speaker Ashraf recommended Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif to draft a resolution in consultation with the leaders of all parties so, it can be approved by the House before the conclusion of a joint session of Parliament.

Pakistan raises issue with Sweden’s charge d’affaires

The Foreign Office has an issue with the charge d’affaires of Sweden in Islamabad and the dialogue with Sweden would continue, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said.

“We will continue to raise our concerns with the Government of Sweden which has conveyed its own concerns about Islamophobia and Quran burnings,” she said in response to queries during a press briefing on Thursday.

She added that Pakistan has also brought the issue to the OIC, and as the OIC coordinator in Geneva, the country has raised it at the UN Human Rights Council. “We have asked for a special debate on Quran burnings, Islamophobia, and this deliberate targeting of Muslims and sentiments of Muslims around the world.”

Pakistan would observe the Sanctity of the Holy Quran Day on Friday. The FO was of the view that such “willful incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence” could not be justified under the guise of freedom of expression.

The recurrence of such Islamophobic incidents called into serious question the legal framework which permits such hate-driven actions, she added.

“As a leading member of the OIC, Pakistan has called for an urgent debate on this important matter at the UN Human Rights Council. We also call for credible and concrete measures to prevent the rising incidents of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred,” Baloch said.

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Shehbaz Sharif

National Assembly

Prime Minister

Sweden

desecration of Quran

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