ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has strongly condemned another provocative and deeply offensive act of desecration of the Holy Quran in The Hague on 18 August 2023.

“This deliberate Islamophobic act deeply hurts the feelings of 2 billion Muslims around the world, and threatens peaceful coexistence and inter-religious harmony,” Foreign Office said in a statement.

It added that such offensive acts cannot be covered under legitimate freedom of expression, opinion and protest. International law obliges States to prevent and prohibit deliberate incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief.

“Pakistan believes that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities,” read the statement, adding that it is the responsibility of national governments and the international community at large to prevent racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic acts.

It added that that was the spirit behind the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 to mark 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

“Pakistan’s concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in the Netherlands. We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of Muslims around the world and take steps to prevent such hateful and Islamophobic acts,” the statement added. Through the statement, Pakistan also called on the international community to raise its voice against Islamophobia and work collectively to promote interfaith harmony.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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