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Published 04 Jul, 2023 07:17pm

Muslim faith, religious feelings should be respected, says China

The Chinese foreign ministry has rejected the Islamophobic acts and condemned extremist actions that target religious beliefs and incite clashes between civilizations.

“The so-called ‘freedom of speech’ should not be the excuse for stoking conflicts and antagonism between civilizations,” Mao Ning, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday.

She was responding to a query pertaining to the desecration of Quran in Sweden last month.

Ning started off with China’s stance that the country has “always” upholds mutual respect, inclusiveness and mutual learning between civilizations. She added that Beijing opposed extremist acts attacking different religious beliefs and inciting civilisation clash and all forms of Islamophobia.

“The Islamic civilization has made important contribution to world civilizations,” she said and stressed that the Muslim faith and religious feelings should be respected.

A 37-year-old man of Iraqi origin desecrated the Holy Quran outside a Stockholm mosque in Sweden while under Swedish police protection. A Swedish court and police authorities had given permission to anti-Islam extremists to desecrate the Holy Quran on June 28, the first day of Eidul Azha.

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation from across the Islamic world, including Türkiye, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Senegal, Morocco, and Mauritania.

The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an urgent meeting on the desecration of the Quran outside a mosque in the Swedish capital Stockholm today (Tuesday), following a request from Pakistan, Al Jazeera reported.

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which is meeting in session until July 14, will change its agenda to stage an urgent debate on Pakistan’s request. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also called for collective measures by Muslim nations to prevent such incidents in the future.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also spoke about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Civilization Initiative, which was proposed in March.

“China will work with the international community to advocate the spirit of the Global Civilization Initiative, promote inter-civilization exchanges and dialogue with concrete actions and jointly safeguard the diversity of world civilizations,” she said.

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