Pakistan on Monday “strongly condemned” repeated acts of the desecration of the Holy Qur’an, vowing to redouble efforts to counter Islamophobia.
In a latest incident, Iraq condemned the burning of a copy of the Qur’an in front of its embassy in Denmark on Monday and said Danish staff at the embassy in Baghdad had left the country after protests there, while Copenhagen said it had “not withdrawn from Iraq.”
Pakistani foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari spoke with Hissein Brahim Taha, the current Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, on Monday and condemned the latest act of desecration.
“We strongly condemned the repeated abominable & unacceptable Islamophobic acts of the desecration of the Holy Quran that unfortunately continue unchecked,” the FM said. “Reiterated our commitment to redouble collective efforts to effectively counter Islamophobia.”
Demonstrations have raged across the Muslim world, particularly Iran and Iraq, after Denmark and Sweden allowed the burning of the Qur’an under rules protecting free speech. Protesters in Iraq set the Swedish embassy in Baghdad alight on Thursday.
Two anti-Islam protesters set fire to a copy of Islam’s holy book in front of the Iraqi embassy in the Danish capital on Monday.
Iraq’s foreign ministry called on authorities of EU countries to “quickly reconsider so-called freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate.”
Earlier this month, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution on religious hatred in the wake of the burning of a Qur’an in Sweden, prompting concern by Western states who say it challenges long-held practices in rights protection.
The resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), calls for the UN rights chief to publish a report on religious hatred and for states to review their laws and plug gaps that may “impede the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.”
The resolution was strongly opposed by the United States and the European Union, who say it conflicts with their view on human rights and freedom of expression. While condemning the burning of the Qur’an, they argued the OIC initiative was designed to safeguard religious symbols rather than human rights.
Source: ARAB NEWS