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OIC adopts statement calling respect of Islam, its revered personalities

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at a meeting in New York on the margins of UN General Assembly session adopted a strongly worded statement against denigrating Islam, its revered personalities and symbols.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his statement expressed deep concern over the misrepresentation of Islam and at activities that have shown disrespect to the most revered personality of Islam.

The foreign minister in his bilateral meetings in New York also expressed concern on the alarming rise in defamatory activities which were hurting sentiments of Muslims.

In the joint statement which was adopted by the ministerial meeting of the OIC, serious concerns were expressed on intensification of hate campaigns which were deliberately targeting Muslims and the Islamic religious symbols.

The statement rejected provocative acts like the holding of the competition and contest to ridicule Islam and aimed at inciting violence.

Read More: Pakistan calls for urgent OIC session over Dutch blasphemous event

The OIC joint statement refers to important resolutions adopted by the OIC, Human Rights Council and the UNGA condemning attacking Islam, combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization and discrimination, incitement to violence against persons based on religion and belief.

In particular, it refers to various steps proposed by the OIC to foster an environment of peace, religious tolerance and respect and measures to be taken by the states in their domestic sphere.

Ever since caricatures competition was announced, Pakistan raised the matter at the diplomatic level with the United Nations, OIC, and European Union and sensitized world leaders.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote to the OIC secretary general, UN secretary general, the Dutch foreign minister and foreign ministers of Muslim countries to jointly act against Islamophobic acts.

Pakistan also requested the convening of an emergency session of the OIC Executive Committee to seize of the situation arising from acts derogating Islam.

Prime Minster Imran Khan on assuming office in the first meeting of the cabinet had expressed serious concern.

The cabinet adopted a resolution condemning the campaign of derogating Islam. Both houses of the parliament also adopted resolutions, calling for halting such activities. Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured the Parliament that matter will be raised during the OIC Ministerial Meeting in New York.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan said the joint statement was a reflection of the government’s commitment to play its role in garnering support through joint action of OIC and building solidarity and unity among Muslim countries and to stand united for common cause of upholding the values of Islam and engaging with other countries to promote culture of peace and tolerance.

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