Imran urges OIC to act against blasphemy, Islamophobia


–PM says West has equated Islam with terrorism and do not distinguish between moderate Muslim and an extremist

–Calls for giving people of Kashmir their right to self-determination as guaranteed by UN Security Council’s resolutions


MAKKAH: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, while terming the phenomena of blasphemy and Islamophobia a failure of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), urged the Muslim world body to play an effective role in safeguarding the rights of Muslims and their religious sentiments.

Addressing the 14th Islamic Summit of OIC held in the Saudi city, Imran said the blasphemous acts against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in the western world was the failure of the OIC for not being able to explain to them the love and affection the Muslims had for the Holy Prophet.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the session themed “Hand in Hand toward the Future”, which brought together the leaders of OIC member states to evolve a unified stance on the ongoing issues and events in the Muslim world.

Addressing the session, PM Imran said,“How He (the Holy Prophet) lives in our heart. It is up to us to explain to the western people the amount of pain they cause us when they ridicule or mock our Holy Prophet.”

He said in the West, the people did not treat religion like the Muslims treated Islam. They have a totally different attitude to the religion, he added.

“I would like to say from this platform that in forums like the United Nations and European Union, we must explain to them that they cannot hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion people under the garb of freedom of expression,” the prime minister urged the Islamic world.

He said the western world dealt with the issue of Holocaust sensitively as the Jewish community had successfully explained to them that any misinterpretation of the Holocaust gave them pain. But that sensitivity lacked when they talked about the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Moreover, he said, the western world had equated Islam with terrorism which had done tremendous disservice to the Muslim community.

“Religion has nothing to do with terrorism. No religion allows the killing of innocent human beings… This has led to Islamophobia. The moment that is referred to define terrorism, the people in the west could not distinguish between a moderate Muslim and a radical Muslim.”

Suspicions, he said, had been raised against the whole Muslim world. The shooting of 50 Muslims in two New Zealand’s mosques happened because they could not understand that Islam had nothing to do with terrorism, he added.

The prime minister said before the 9/11, around 80 percent of the suicide attacks were carried out by the Tamil Tigers but no one had blamed Hinduism for that. The religion had nothing to do with that because it was a political struggle.

He said in Second World War, when the Japanese pilots blew themselves up on American ships, no one had blamed their religion for it.

Besides causing Islamophobia, he said the OIC’s inability also led to delegitimising the Muslim political freedom struggles which were termed ‘Islamic radicalism’.

The people of Kashmir, he said, had been carrying out their political struggle for freedom but after the 9/11, it was also dubbed as ‘Islamic radicalism and terrorism’.

Similarly, he said, Israel started oppressing the Palestinians calling their freedom movement as ‘Islamic terrorism’.

Therefore, the Muslim world must use the OIC platform to delink terrorism with Islam, he stressed.

The prime minister said the Muslim world was not paying much attention to science and technology despite being on the verge of another industrial revolution with the artificial intelligence and blockchain new technologies coming in.

“We must not be left behind again… We as a Muslim world must spend more of our resources in strengthening ourselves in this field. We must pay more attention to quality education in universities,” he added.

Imran Khan said the OIC, which was also observing its 50 years of establishment, came into being when the Palestinian Muslims were deprived of their homes, and human and democratic rights.

He reiterated that there was no solution to the Palestine issue except the two-state solution. East Jerusalem must become the capital for the Palestinian people and the Golan Heights must be returned as per the 1976 borders as agreed by the international community.

Similarly, he said the people of Kashmir had not been given their right to self-determination as had been guaranteed by the UN Security Council’s resolutions.

The people of Kashmir, he said, had recently suffered a lot of oppression and urged the Muslim world to stand against the oppression going on in the Muslim world.

The prime minister thanked the Saudi leadership for great hospitality and providing them an opportunity to visit the Roza-e-Rasool (PBUH) in Madina Munawwara.

The summit, also addressed by the Saudi King, OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen and other Muslim world leaders, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the organization.