Pakistan condemns French systematic Islamophobic campaign

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan condemns in the strongest manner the systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and desecration of the Holy Qur’an by certain irresponsible elements in some developed countries.

The statement of the spokesman of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry stressed that Pakistan is further alarmed at the highly disturbing statements by certain politicians who justify such heinous acts under the garb of freedom of expression and equate Islam with terrorism.

Under international human rights law, the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities. The dissemination of racist ideas, defamation and ridiculing of other religions, denigration of religious personalities, hate speech, and incitement to violence are not the allowed expressions of this fundamental freedom.

Such illegal and Islamophobic acts that fan inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation, are the very basis of horrendous terrorist acts like the Christchurch, thereby imperiling future prospects of peace and harmony among civilizations.

Whilst having anti-blasphemy and criminal laws for sensitive issues such as denial of Holocaust, the justification by a few politicians in some Western countries for insulting sentiments of Muslims, is a blatant reflection of double standards.

At a time of rising racism and populism, the international community must show a common resolve against xenophobia, intolerance, stigmatization and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief. It is necessary to work together for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony. — Agencies

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