Stop insulting Islam in garb of freedom of expression: NA speaker

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National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Thursday called upon the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other world forums for strict implementations of laws against the continued practice of insulting religious beliefs in grab of freedom of expression.

According to a message received from Istanbul, the NA speaker said that there has been a sporadic outpour of anger in all Muslim countries due to printing of blasphemous caricatures in the French and other journals.

Addressing the Plenary Session of 10th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Countries (PUIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, he said, “I strongly condemn the continued practice of insulting religious beliefs in the garb of freedom of expression, especially against the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).”

He said that Islam is a religion of peace and the Muslims respect all prophets, holy scriptures and religious deities. Therefore we expect the world to show similar grace.

The speaker urged the international community to stride to make world a better place to address such kind of grimy activities provoking the sentiments of Muslims.

He reminded that such actions are also in blatant violation of Article 20 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights of the UN and also of the Article 10 of the European Union’s Convention on Human Rights.

Sadiq urged the United Nations, the EU and the OIC and all important world forums to take measures to stop such evil-designed practices.

The speaker shared the brutality of December 16, 2014, when some mind-set of hate attacked Army Public School in Pakistan’s city of Peshawar and brutally hunted 143 helpless young students, their unarmed teachers and officials including women.

He said that Pakistan is facing the menace of terrorism and extremism for the last decade and we have paid the heaviest price anywhere in the world for this international war by sacrificing more than 60,000 men, women, children and members of our law enforcing agencies.

He informed that terrorism and extremism is our common problem and we are determine to root out this evil from our homeland and committed to join hands to eradicate it once and for all.

“It is the time to address the real challenge together in a spirit of mutual respect and non-interference. Let us rise above the narrow considerations of sect and creed and forge unity,” the speaker said. He stressed the need to check the sources of funding in the name of charity and alms which might directly or indirectly falls into hands of terrorists.

Sadiq said that the world must recognise that without addressing the long-standing issues of Palestine and Kashmir, international peace and stability will remain a distant dream.

“PUIC provides an ideal forum of the chosen representatives of the Muslim World. It must be strengthened and its deliberations must be translated into meaningful actions to guide the Ummah towards a bright future,” he said.

He is in Turkey in connection to attendance of the conference at the time when angers among Muslims is mounting to the caricature published in French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, that was attacked two weeks ago killing 12 people apparently due to its published caricature in 2011. However, this month after the attack it published another caricature committing blasphemy.