Pakistan has condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran in The Hague, the Netherlands in front of some embassies of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member countries, including Pakistan.
“It is a deliberately provocative and Islamophobic act that has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world,” said the Foreign Office in a statement on Monday. “Such acts cannot be condoned under the guise of freedom of expression, opinion and protest.”
In August, leader of a Dutch far-right group Pegida Edwin Wagensveld desecrated a copy of the Quran as part of a demonstration in front of the Turkish embassy. The Dutch government condemned the organising of the demonstration but added that it had no legal powers to prevent it.
Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia condemned the actions of the Dutch far-right activist, saying that such “recurring acts cannot be justified under any circumstances.”
The FO described the incident as a “senseless” and “deeply offensive act”.
“Pakistan believes that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities,” the FO said, adding that the national governments should prevent “racist and Islamophobic acts,” which incite religious hatred.
The FO highlighted that it was important for the international community to raise its voice against Islamophobia and work in concert to promote interfaith harmony. That was the spirit behind the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 to mark March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
Pakistan 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.”