ISLAMABAD: 21 January 2023 – Pakistan has vehemently deplored the ‘abhorrent and Islamophobic’ act of the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden by a hard-line Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, stressing that the move hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion-strong Muslim community across the globe.
Türkiye and several Arab countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait denounced the Holy Quran’s desecration.
Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), burned the Holy Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Friday, which immediately sparked condemnations from Muslim countries across the world, including Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that this senseless and provocative Islamophobic act hurts the religious sensitivities of billions of Muslims around the world.
Such actions, the ministry said, were not covered under any legitimate expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion — which carried responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence.
“Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims, including in Pakistan, believe in respecting all religions. These principles must be supported by all,” the Foreign Office said.
The ministry called upon the international community to show a common resolve against Islamophobia, xenophobia, intolerance, and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief, and work together for promoting inter-faith harmony and peaceful coexistence.
Pakistan’s concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in Sweden, it said, urging them to be mindful of the sentiments of Muslims and take steps to prevent Islamophobic acts.
Paludan, who also has Swedish citizenship, has held a number of demonstrations in the past where he has burned the Holy Quran.
The permit that Paludan obtained from police says his protest was held against Islam, and what it called Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to influence freedom of expression in Sweden.
In April last year, Paludan’s announcement of a Holy Quran burning “tour” for the holy month of Ramadan sparked riots across Sweden.
President Dr Arif Alvi has strongly condemned the abhorrent act of desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden which, he said, has insulted the holy scripture of Islam and hurt the feelings of the billions of Muslims under the guise of freedom of expression. He termed the act as senseless, provocative and Islamophobic which has hurt the religious sensitivities of Muslims around the world.
The President said that this immoral incident was an act of needless incitement and a serious provocation to the feelings of Muslims in the world, was against the internationally accepted norms and principles of legitimate expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, which obliged everyone to not resort to hate speech and incite people to violence.
The President said that Islam preached respect and reverence for all religions of the world whereas this heinous act has hurt Muslims by insulting their sacred values, and reflected the alarming levels of Islamophobia.
The President urged the international community to show a common resolve against Islamophobia, and underlined the need for international efforts to consolidate the values of tolerance and coexistence and criminalize all acts that promote the ideology of hatred and not allow extremist and radical elements to spread hatred against Islamic sanctities and values.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned the despicable and extremely hurtful desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden by Danish politician.
Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), burned the Holy Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
The move was deplored by Pakistan, the UAE, Turkiye and Saudi Arabia among several other Muslim countries.
In his condemnation of the abhorrent act, Shahbaz termed it unacceptable, saying that the “garb of freedom of expression can’t be used to hurt religious emotions of Muslims.” He said that the despicable act cannot be condemned in words.
“No words are enough to adequately condemn the abhorrable act of desecration of the Holy Quran by a right-wing extremist in Sweden. The garb of freedom of expression cannot be used to hurt the religious emotions of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world,” the premier wrote on Twitter.
The new Bishop of Lahore: The Rt. Rev. Nadeem Kamran along with other Bishops, Bishop Alexander John Malik and Bishop Irfan Jamil has strongly condemned the despicable act of desecration of the Holy Quran by a right wing extremist in Sweden.
He said that this abhorrent act has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world, including Pakistan.
According to the Bishop, freedom of expression is one’s fundamental right but it should not be used to hurt the religious emotions of anyone. He stressed that these kinds of heinous incidents create hatred which is against Christianity and all religions.These must be curbed and stern action must be taken against the perpetrators. The Bishop, sympathizing with the Muslim brethren of Pakistan and expressing solidarity with them said that he and the Christian community of Pakistan are against this cowardly act and vehemently condemn it.