Monday Oct 26 2020

Pakistan's parliament unanimously approves resolution condemning blasphemous French cartoons

In this file photo, lawmakers can be seen seated inside the Senate of Pakistan, in Islamabad, on October 26, 2020. — RadioPakistan

ISLAMABAD: Both houses of Pakistan's parliament — the Senate and the National Assembly — on Monday unanimously approved resolutions that strongly condemned promoting Islamophobia and the act of publishing insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The resolution — moved by Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem in the upper house — strongly condemned the latest episode in France that has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the globe. 

Muslims around the globe are incensed at French President Emmanuel Macron for his recent statements against Islam. The French president has referred to Islam as a religion "in crisis" and backed caricatures depicting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

Read more: Pakistan summons French envoy to lodge protest over 'anti-Islam campaign'

“Believing that such condemnable acts, especially when supported by governments, further accentuate discord, alienation, and divide between the followers of different faiths”, stated the resolution.

The resolution “reaffirmed that the love for our beloved Prophet (PBUH) is beyond any doubt a part of our faith and no Muslim can tolerate such horrendous acts”.

Representing sentiments of the Pakistani nation and the Muslim world as a whole, the upper house expressed serious concerns over such vile incidents which are used to provoke Muslims worldwide.

Read more: PM Imran Khan slams French President Macron, says he 'deliberately provoked' Muslims

The house urged the global community to come up with a framework to stop the recurrence of such acts in future and  in doing so, ensure peaceful coexistence as well as social and interfaith harmony among human beings.

NA unanimously approves resolution

Similarly, the resolution moved by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the NA expressed concerns at the highly disturbing statements and hate-mongering against Muslims, especially by French President Emmanuel Macron, justifying unlawful provocation and insult to the sentiments of Muslims, reported Radio Pakistan.

The lower house condemned the practice of blasphemy and of insulting the Holy Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]. It also condemned all acts of terror or violence in the name of religion or belief.

The resolution deplored linking Islam and Muslims with terrorism, which goes against the international consensus and spirit of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.

To effectively address the issue of Islamophobia, the NA urged the government to recall its envoy from Paris and to work within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Countries for designating March 15 as the International Day to combat Islamophobia and ask the OIC countries to boycott French goods.

French envoy summoned to lodge protest over 'anti-Islam campaign'

Earlier, Pakistan had summoned French envoy Marc Baréty to lodge its "strong protest" against the publication of blasphemous caricatures and French President Emmanuel Macron’s "anti-Islam" comments.

According to a spokesperson for the Foreign Office, a demarche was also handed to the French envoy by Special Secretary (Europe) Dr Aman Rashid. The FO told Baréty that Pakistan strongly protested the publication of blasphemous sketches in France.

Read more: President Alvi slams ‘retrograde’ Indian society for anti-Muslim attitude

A "strong protest" was also recorded over Macron's "blasphemous statement" after the caricatures were published, the FO said, adding that it condemned the French president's statement accusing Muslims of separatism and vowing not to give up on blasphemous caricatures.

PM Imran says Macron 'attacked Islam'

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also condemned Macron, saying that the French president “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of the blasphemous caricatures.

Read more: PM Imran Khan asks Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobic content on platform

He said Macron could have shown a “healing touch” to deny space to extremists but had instead “chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists”.

Meanwhile, France recalled its ambassador to Ankara after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his counterpart Emmanuel Macron needed mental help over his attitude towards Muslims. Erdogan had also said on October 6 that Macron’s comments on were “a clear provocation” and showed “impertinence”.