- Sweden informs Pakistan all Islamophobic acts are strongly rejected.
- Sweden, Denmark witnessed demos in which copies of Quran desecrated.
- “I emphasised that such abhorrent acts shouldn’t be permitted.”
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday expressed “deep concern” regarding the recent incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden and other countries with his Swedish counterpart.
Taking to Twitter, Bilawal said that he raised the issue with Foreign Minister of Sweden Tobias Billstrom in a telephone conversation.
“He apprised me that all Islamophobic acts in any form are strongly rejected by the Swedish government. I emphasised that such abhorrent acts shouldn’t be permitted under the guise of freedom of expression,” tweeted Bilawal.
Sweden and Denmark have seen a string of protests in recent weeks, in which copies of the holy book were desecrated, prompting outrage in Muslim countries and demands that the Nordic governments put a stop to the burnings.
Both countries have said they deplore the burning of the Muslim sacred book but cannot prevent it under rules protecting free speech.
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Bilawal had taken up the issue with his Danish counterpart as well when he called him.
“I received a call from Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, and raised our deep concern on the recent incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran in Denmark and other European countries,” Billawal had tweeted back then as well.
“While acknowledging the Danish government’s outreach to the Muslim world and condemnation of these abhorrent acts, I stressed the need for stopping Islamophobic acts that hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world. Also emphasised the need to promote interfaith harmony and religious tolerance,” Bilawal had told Foreign Minister Rasmussen.
Bilawal also participated in the 18th Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) where the issue of Quran burning was taken up.
In the meeting, the OIC expressed grave concern over an increase in Islamophobia after a spike in incidents of Holy Quran burning in Nordic nations.
The meeting adopted a comprehensive resolution expressing grave concern over increasing incidents of intolerance, discrimination, and rising Islamophobia, a statement from the Foreign Office said.
It reaffirmed the importance of the 8-point action plan unanimously agreed upon by the UN Human Rights Council to counter incitement to hatred, discrimination, stigmatisation, and violence based on religion and belief.
It also called on all governments to fully implement the existing legal and administrative framework or adopt new legislation to protect all individuals against hatred and violence based on religion and belief.