In a joint protest rally to condemn the “blasphemous” cartoons published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo, religious parties demanded of Islamic countries to cut off diplomatic relations with France and declare French ambassadors as personae non grata.
Chanting slogans against France, hundreds of workers of different parties including Jamat-e-Islmai, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), JUI-S, Markaze Ahle Hadees, Alami Majlis Khatam-e-Naboowat, Tanzeem Ishat-o-Tawheed, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat and other parties marched from Peshawar Khyber Bazar to Sukarno Square where a big public rally was organised. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the blasphemous cartoons.
Through a joint resolution, the religious parties demanded of the United Nations to ensure legislation to declare dishonor of any religion, prophet and sacred books as a crime, so that “nobody dares to dishonour religion and prophets” in the future.
The joint meeting of religious parties urged France to apologise to the Muslim world for publishing “blasphemous caricatures which hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world”.
The rally was addressed by JI Khyber Pukhtunkhwa acting amir Hakim Abdul Waheed, JUI’s provincial chief Gul Naseeb, Ismail Darwish, Sabir Hussain Awan, Khaairul Bashar and others who said that leaders of Muslim countries should ask the French government and other members of the European Union to place a ban on printing of sacrilegious material in print media in the name of freedom of expression.
They expressed apprehensions that repeated publication of blasphemous caricatures could endanger world peace. The speakers also demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to play his role in convening a meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and devise a joint strategy to stop publication of blasphemous caricatures.