UN condemns desecration of Quran | Pakistan Today

UN condemns desecration of Quran

UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran by pastors of a Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida and said such actions cannot be condoned by any religion.
He said such actions contradict the efforts of the United Nations and many people around the world to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions.
Terming this despicable and bigotry act unacceptable, Secretary General assured the OIC Ambassadorial Group which met him in his office that the UN would continue working towards promoting inter-faith harmony.
The Secretary-General thanked the OIC Ambassadors for their condemnation and condolences for the attack on the UN staff at Mazar-i-Sharif. He said such attack cannot be justified under any circumstances.
The Secretary-General said he supported the statement of the UN High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, who said that the desecration of the Quran – as of any holy text – should be vehemently repudiated. Equally, no religion tolerates the slaughter of innocent people.
Referring to the burning of a Quran in Florida recently, the Secretary-General said he was on record as specifically condemning such acts in the past as well when the issue first arose last year.
The Secretary-General also discussed issues related to the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the Middle East peace process, as well as the evolving situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
The OIC Group of Ambassadors comprising Tajikistan (OIC Chair), Morocco (OIC Coordinator for Human Rights), Pakistan, Iran and Egypt, Palestine and Permanent Observer of OIC conveyed OIC’s strong condemnation of this act and requested the Secretary General to assume the leadership role to address the issue.
The OIC Ambassadors expressed strongly condemnation of the unfortunate killing of UN staff at Mazar-i-Sharif Afghanistan and offered their condolences with the bereaved families.
Voicing strong condemnation of the burning of the Holy Quran, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, who was amongst the OIC Ambassadors, met the Secretary General expressed profound regret at the increasing acts of Islamophobia and growing trend of intolerance. He said the Holy Quraan is not merely a book; it was indeed the word of Allah, and it included scriptures from all faiths, including Christianity and Judaism. He expressed OIC’s grave concern that the despicable act had severely hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. The Ambassador said that such provocative acts are the work of extremists and fanatics guided by their hatred and intolerance for other cultures, religions and societies. These are designed to provoke dissent and discord among communities and peoples across the world, and also go against the very concept of inter-faith harmony and threaten the multicultural fabric of the societies.
Refuting Huntington Clash of Civilizations thesis, Ambassador Haroon underlined the need to bolster the United Nations and Muslim-led effort to promote worldwide inter-faith and intercultural harmony. The Ambassador requested the UN Secretary General to take lead in ensuring peace and harmony among peoples of the world. He said OIC has full confidence in the UN’s leadership and hoped that it would take a principal role to fight such tendencies and promote intercultural and inter-faith harmony that is basic to coexistence of mankind.
Ambassadors of Tajikistan (OIC Chair), Iran, Egypt and Morocco (OIC Coordinator for Human Rights) said that OIC being a strong proponent of inter-faith harmony has been constructively engaging and contributing on all forums devoted to this cause including the Alliance of Civilizations. The Ambassadors informed the Secretary General that OIC has recently presented a resolution in the Human Rights Council on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on their religion or belief which has been adopted by consensus. They have called for a more active role of the UN towards protecting all the religions.
On March 22, Ambassador Haroon had also written a letter to the UN Secretary General, where he drew UN attention towards this despicable act of desecration of the Holy Quraan by Wayne Sapp under the supervision of Pastor Jones. Terry Jones, the controversial American pastor, oversaw the burning of a copy of the holy Quran at his small Florida church after the Islamic revered book was put on trial, found guilty and condemned for execution. Last fall, Jones who heads a church of 50 followers, stoked international alarm with his claim he would light a bonfire with the holy Quran on the anniversary of September 11th. He gave up the move after the Obama administration intervened.
The OIC Ambassadorial meeting which was held on March 25 decided that envoys of Pakistan, Tajikistan (OIC chair), Morocco (OIC Coordinator for Human Rights), Iran and Egypt would meet the UN Secretary General to convey OIC strong condemnation and ask the world body chief to take lead towards promoting inter-faith harmony.

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