Pakistan urges Muslim leaders coop. against Islamophobia

TEHRAN, Apr. 19 (MNA) – Pakistani PM Imran Khan says extremist elements in Western countries are committing deliberate actions against Islam and Muslim sanctities and called for Muslim countries to form a joint form against them.

In a live televised conference on Monday, Imran Khan said the Islamabad government is determined to confront Islamophobia.

He vowed to introduce a campaign that would seek to join Muslim countries so that the issue can be taken up on international forums, such as the European Union and United Nations.

He said that there will come a time when people in Western countries will think twice about disrespecting the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Kashmirwalla reported.

“When we begin a campaign by bringing together all Muslim countries […] it will make a difference and change will come in the West. Otherwise, we will continue vandalizing the country and it will make no difference to the Western world.”

Khan’s comments come after recent violence in Pakistan by the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). There has been a tense time as the Pak government engages with the workers of the TLP — who have been holding anti-France protests for more than a week — after a clash with the police in Lahore on Sunday.

Prime Minister Imran said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) lived in the hearts of the people of Pakistan. "That is why whenever any disrespect is attempted to his name anywhere in the world, it hurts us," he added, saying Muslims around the world are also pained by such acts, Dawn reported.

He continued: "Around 1990, Salman Rushdie wrote a book in which he disrespected our Prophet. The public came out on Pakistani streets, the American embassy was attacked and people were martyred too.

"After that, you can see [in history] that after every few years, someone in any Western country does blasphemy against him. Muslims are hurt, there are reactions abroad too and demonstrations here in our country as well but the same process continues after every few years."

"Has this approach made any difference?" the premier asked.

"Now, I ask will sending the French ambassador back and cutting off all ties with them stop this? Is there any guarantee that no one will commit blasphemy after that?" he said.

The prime minister said even if Pakistan took steps against France, the same disrespect could be done in any other European country "in the name of freedom of opinion".

"There they've made it an issue of freedom of expression and on that basis, they will also commit blasphemy [if we take action against France]. So will we send the ambassador [of that country] back too?"


News Code 172300


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