Monday Jan 17 2022
Web Desk

Putin first Western leader to show empathy towards Muslim sentiments: PM Imran Khan

Web Desk

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is the first Western leader to show empathy and sensitivity to Muslim sentiment for their beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Taking to Twitter, the premier shared that he spoke to President Putin primarily to express gratitude for his "emphatic statement that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse our Prophet PBUH."

Appreciating the earlier statement of Russia's president that" insulting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not "freedom of expression", the PM said that President Putin is the first western leader to show empathy and sensitivity towards Muslim world sentiments.

The PM had earlier tweeted that "I welcome President Putin's statement, which reaffirms my message that insulting our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not 'freedom of expression'."

Talking about the matters discussed in the recent telephonic conversation between the two leaders, the PM said that they spoke about ways to move forward on trade and other mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

PM Khan said that they have also invited each other to visit their countries.

The background

Earlier, according to Russian news agency TASS, Putin had said that insulting Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) does not count as freedom of expression.

Putin's views came during his annual press conference, during which he stressed the importance of "artistic freedom without hindrance to religious freedom".

Insults to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) are a "violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam," Putin had said.

The Russian president had also expressed his disapproval of websites posting photos of Nazis.

TASS, quoting Putin, said that such acts "give rise to extremist reprisals", an example of which is the attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris after it published blasphemous cartoons of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Putin had praised artistic freedom in general but warned that it is one that has its limits and must never infringe on other freedoms.

The Russian president, according to the publication, said his country has "evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state", adding that its people "are used to respecting each other’s traditions".

Such respect is not found in the same measure in some other countries, Putin remarked.