PM urges Muslim leaders for joint action against Islamophobia

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday wrote a letter to Muslim leaders for joint action against Islamophobia in non-Muslim countries, especially in European nations.

In the letter, the Prime Minister said that there is a need for a collective action to counter the growing trend of Islamophobia.

He said Muslim states should act collectively to counter the growing Islamophobia in non-Muslim states especially Western states causing increasing concern amongst Muslims the world over. He added, “Today, we are confronting a growing concern and restlessness amongst our Ummah as they see the rising tide of Islamophobia and attacks, through ridicule and mockery on our beloved Prophet (PBUH) in the Western world, especially Europe.” 

The premier said the recent statements at the leadership level and incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran were a reflection of increasing Islamophobia, spreading in European countries where sizeable Muslim populations resided.

He mentioned that in Europe, mosques were being closed and Muslim women being denied their right to wear clothing of their choice in public domain, whereas nuns and priests continued to display their religious clothing.

“I believe the leadership in these countries, often acts out of lack of understanding of the intrinsic deep passion, love and devotion Muslims all over the world have for their Prophet (PBUH) and their divine book the Holy Quran,” he said.

He said, “As a result, a dangerous cycle of actions and reactions are set in motion. Hurtful actions result in reactions from Muslims as they see their faith and their beloved Prophet are targeted which results in further discriminatory actions by governments against Muslim populations in their states, resulting in marginalization of Muslims and the creating of space for radical, far-right groups to exploit the situation.”

Imran Khan said marginalization was leading to radicalization and this vicious cycle continued to create increasing space for extremists on all sides.

He maintained, “In this environment, it is incumbent on us as leaders of the Muslim world to collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism, which nurtures violence and even death. We, as leaders of Muslim polities, must take the initiative to call for an end to this cycle of hate and violence.”

The Prime Minister said it is the responsibility of the Muslim leaders to raise collective 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 Prophet (PBUH).

“It is time to reach out to “the other” and end cycles of violence bred of ignorance and hate. We must explain to the Western world that value systems differ for different social and religious and ethnic groups in the world,” he said.

Imran Khan said that the world cannot go on with this hate spiral which only benefits extremists’ agendas and results in violence.

The letter from Imran Khan comes in wake of French President Emmanuel Macron comments against Islam and Muslims. Macron accused Muslims of separatism and vowed not to give up cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

Macron made the comments in response to the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher, who was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres northwest of Paris.

Soon after his comments, protests erupted globally calling to boycott French goods.

Criticizing Macron over his remarks, Imran Khan had said that this is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam & our Prophet (PBUH).

He stated that by attacking Islam, clearly without having any understanding of it, President Macron has attacked and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe & across the world.

He said that public statements based on ignorance will create more hate, Islamophobia & space for extremists.



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