ISLAMABAD: Calling on leaders of Muslim states to “collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism”, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday stressed the time had come to put an end to Islamophobia and attacks on Islam.
In a letter to heads of the Muslim nations, the premier urged them to collectively explain to non-Muslims the “deep-seated reverence and love all Muslims feel” for the Holy Quran and Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The letter, dated October 28, which was shared on Twitter and Facebook accounts of the premier, highlighted the growing concern and restlessness amongst the Ummah as they see the rising tide of Islamophobia and attacks through ridicule and mockery of beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in the Western world, especially in Europe.
My letter to leaders of Muslim states to act collectively to counter the growing Islamophobia in non-Muslim states esp Western states causing increasing concern amongst Muslims the world over. pic.twitter.com/OFuaKGu2c1
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 28, 2020
“In Europe, mosques are being closed, Muslim women are being denied their right to wear clothing of their choice in the public domain even as nuns and priests continue to display their religious clothing, and covert and overt discrimination is widespread against Muslims living in those countries,” he wrote.
The prime minister said that he believed the leadership of such countries often did not realise the intrinsic deep passion, love, and devotion Muslims all over the world have of their Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and their divine book, the Holy Quran, warning that their actions were encouraging a dangerous cycle of action and reaction.
He said that hurtful actions result in reactions from Muslims as they see their faith and their beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) targeted, which results in further discriminatory actions by governments against Muslim populations in their states, resulting in marginalisation of Muslims and the creating of space for radical, far-right groups to exploit the situation. He added that this also provoked radicalisation, increasing the space for extremists on all sides.
In this scenario, said PM Imran, the leaders of the Muslim world must collectively act to break this cycle of hate and extremism.
He urged Muslim leaders to collectively raise their voice and explain to the leadership of the non-Muslim, especially western states, the deep-seated reverence and love all Muslims feel for their divine book, the Holy Quran, and for Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
By reaching out to “the other,” cycles of violence bred by ignorance and hatred could be brought to an end, he added.
Detailing his suggestions for how best to proceed, the prime minister said that the Western world must acknowledge that value systems differ for social and religious and ethnic groups.
“For Europeans and Jews, the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom, has led to many Western, especially European states, to criminalizing any act of criticism or questioning of the Holocaust. We understand and respect that,” he added.
However, he said, the time had now come for the Western world to give similar respect to Muslims, who have seen similar mass killings in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
PM Imran said that the pain and hurt to Muslims is greatest when they see attacks on our faith and beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) through mockery, ridicule and even abuse. He added that the Muslim faith found blasphemy against any Prophet of Islam, Christianity or Judaism “unacceptable.”
Reiterating his call for the leaders of the Muslim world to carry this message to the rest of the world, the prime minister said said that the world cannot continue this hate spiral. “Our faith is guided by peace and tolerance as practiced in Riyasat-e-Madina and in accordance with Misaq-e-Madina.”
It is our responsibility to inform the world of this spirit and core of our faith Islam,” he added.
The letter comes after protests and condemnations broke out in the Muslim world over a statement issued by French President Emmanuel Macron, accusing Muslims of being “separatists” and vowed to continue encouraging the creation and display of blasphemous caricatures.
Macron’s speech came after a teacher was beheaded in France for showing blasphemous caricatures during a class on free speech.
In Pakistan, calls have mounted for a boycott of all French goods, with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman vowing to lead protests against the French president next week.