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Pakistan summons French envoy to condemn Islamophobic campaign

ISLAMABAD: The French ambassador was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today to convey the deep concerns over the recent systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), ARY News reported.

It was underscored that such illegal and Islamophobic acts hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world, including those in Pakistan. Furthermore, such actions could not be justified in the name of freedom of expression.

“Pakistan strongly condemned equating Islam with terrorism, for narrow electoral and political gains. Such provocative statements and actions were fanning inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation thereby imperiling efforts of peace and harmony among various segments of society,” the FO said in a statement.

It was reiterated that freedom of expression should not be misused as means to attack or hurt public sentiments or religious beliefs and fan inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation.

Read more: PM Imran demands Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobic content on Facebook

The ambassador was told that such actions and statements would further divide peoples and civilizations and undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony.

“At a time of rising racism, intolerance and populism, there is a need to promote harmony among peoples and communities instead of reinforcing stereotypes and making people alienated”.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations (UN) to take notice and action against the hate-based narrative against Islam.

In a statement on Monday, he said there is resentment in the world over the blasphemous caricatures.

He said the irresponsible statement of the French President Macron has added fuel to the fire. He said nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims under the garb of freedom of expression.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook asking to place a ban on Islamophobic content on Facebook.

In his letter, the prime minister had demanded Zukerberg to impose a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam that has been put in place for the Holocaust.

“I am writing to draw your attention to the growing Islamophobia that is encouraging hate, extremism and violence across the world and especially through the use of social media platforms including Facebook. I appreciate your taking the step to rightly ban any posting that criticizes or questions the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews in Germany and across Europe as Nazis spread across Europe.”

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