The Senate condemns desecration of the Koran in Sweden, the Netherlands
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday passed a unanimous resolution expressing its deepest dismay and shock over the heinous and heinous act of burning, tearing and desecrating the Holy Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands.
The resolution called on the government to summon the ambassadors of Sweden and the Netherlands and convey the strong feelings, shock and anger felt by the people of Pakistan against the desecration of the Holy Quran. It stressed that Sweden and the Netherlands must be urged to take firm legal action against those who desecrated the Holy Quran.
In their speeches, several legislators vehemently called for boycott of the products of the countries where such heinous acts take place from time to time and the governments look the other way. They thought it would work, because the economies of these countries would suffer when 1.5 billion Muslims boycotted their products.
After recitation from the Hoy Quran, Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar moved a proposal for repeal of relevant rules to set aside the routine agenda to thoroughly discuss the heinous acts and pass a resolution on them thereafter.
The House met twice during the day and at the end the resolution was moved by JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed. The resolution says that the upper house of the parliament strongly protests against the governments of Sweden and the Netherlands for allowing the organizers of the extremists and fanatics to stage the burning of the Holy Koran in the name of freedom of expression. The pretext of freedom of speech could not be used to attack the religious sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.
Condemning the acts of Islamophobia as hateful, vicious, highly explosive and contrary to the principles of international law, the resolution expressed the collective will of the state and people of Pakistan against the desecration of the Holy Quran by racists and extremists, saying: this heinous crime was a calculated and deliberate attempts to harm interfaith harmony, social peace, religious tolerance. It said such actions would ultimately prove divisive to peace and stability among countries, cultures and civilizations.
The Senate, through a resolution, urged the Muslims to maintain calm and tranquility and promote Islam’s message of peace, tolerance and universal brotherhood.
The resolution asked the government to coordinate with OIC members to take a unified stand on the issue, which was central to the core beliefs of all Muslims. It said Pakistan should raise the issue before the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva next week.
Earlier, while participating in the debate, the Law Minister strongly condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran in the two European countries and assured the Parliament that the issue was raised and would be raised in all appropriate forums.
Tarar said the government would take up the issue seriously at appropriate forums including the UN, OIC and the European Union and it would register protests responsibly.
The minister informed the House that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had given him specific instructions to tell the Senate that the government is fully living up to its international and diplomatic responsibilities. Tarar noted that Islamophobic incidents in European countries were a major problem.
Former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was the first to speak, said protests are taking place in different parts of the world against the heinous crime being committed in the two European countries.
He called for a strong protest against the heinous crime, which he said should also be attended by the lawmakers.
Mushtaq Ahmad took the floor and said that those who committed the act of desecrating the Holy Quran were terrorists who wanted to push the world towards World War III. “Those who call themselves champions of human rights and freedoms must be ashamed of such actions,” he added.
He advocated a strong protest to the envoys of Sweden and the Netherlands to convey the feelings of the Muslims about the shameful acts.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that the issue of Islamophobia was not limited to Sweden and the Netherlands, recalling that such incidents had taken place in France, Denmark, Austria and Hungary in the past as well. He pointed out that the recurring pattern also showed double standards of the world even in relation to freedom of speech. He cited the example of the Holocaust, because its denial can land a person in prison.
He said it was a good omen, as the finance ministry and the opposition were one on this issue, adding that the country really needs such unity on the core issues, when confronted by the nation. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif held the West responsible for rising acts of terrorism and extremism and made it clear that such actions provoke a reaction. “Islamophobia in Western countries is the main cause of extremism in Muslim countries. If they respect our religion, the extremist tendencies can also be checked,” he claimed. He called on Western countries to stop Islamophobic incidents, saying their double standards on human rights and freedom of expression posed a threat to global peace, and called on Muslim countries to collectively express their outrage over the acts of desecration.
The minister strongly condemned Indian and Israeli state-sponsored terrorism against the Muslim population and lamented that the US and its allies support both countries. He pointed out that the narrative of BJP-led government in India was based on the enmity of Islam. He continued that the Indian Prime Minister was the biggest terrorist because he was involved in the massacre of Muslims in the state of Gujarat.
Irfan Siddiqui said that the Islamophobic acts in European countries were not freedom of speech but an expression of their hatred and bigotry against Islam and Muslims. Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar asked people of different faiths to contemplate the Holy Quran which is a divine communication for the salvation of mankind. He explained that the central theme of the holy book was man and to understand it would purify not only the human soul but also the entire planetary environment.
Faiz Muhammad said that since the spread of Islam in European countries, propaganda has been unleashed by some elements against the religion to stop this process. “Islamophobic acts in Europe are a conspiracy against our religion while Islam and the Koran give rights to even animals and trees,” he said.
Taj Haider emphasized on effectively spreading the message of Islam and the Holy Quran in the world. He added that the world should be informed that the holy book is not only for the Muslims but for the entire humanity as its message is universal.
Kamran Michael and Danesh Kumar said those involved in Islamophobic acts had nothing to do with any religion. Faisal Javed said that contempt of religion could not be allowed under the guise of freedom of speech, and said such provocative actions should be declared illegal at the international level. Some senators took advantage of it and spoke strongly against the manner in which PTI’s senior leader, Fawad Chaudhry, was arrested. The chamber now meets on Monday at 3 p.m.