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Pakistan’s Parliament Passes Unanimous Resolutions Against Islamophobia

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Lower House rings with calls to sever all diplomatic ties with France over President Macron’s anti-Islam statements

Pakistan’s Senate and National Assembly on Monday both unanimously approved resolutions condemning Islamophobia and the projection of blasphemous cartoons of Islam’s Prophet on government buildings in France.

In the Upper House of Parliament, Senator Shahzad Waseem moved the resolution. It strongly condemned the ongoing publication of blasphemous caricatures in France, as well as recent statements by the French president that had “hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the globe.”

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron referred to Islam as a religion “in crisis,” accused Muslims in the country of being “separatists,” and vowed to continue encouraging caricatures depicting Islam’s Prophet. His statement followed the beheading of a teacher who had displayed the blasphemous caricatures during a class on free speech.

“Believing that such condemnable acts, especially when supported by governments, further accentuate discord, alienation, and divide between the followers of different faiths,” read the resolution. It “reaffirmed that the love for our beloved Prophet (PBUH) is beyond any doubt a part of our faith and no Muslim can tolerate such horrendous acts.”

The Upper House also expressed serious concerns over incidents of the Quran being set on fire, and other attacks on Muslims across the world, saying such incidents are designed to provoke the sentiments of Muslims. It urged the global community to establish a framework to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, claiming this would ensure peaceful coexistence and interfaith harmony among people of all faiths.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani directed Senate staff to ensure a copy of the resolution was sent to the French Ambassador in Pakistan.

Lower House

In the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi moved a resolution expressing concerns over anti-Islam statements and hatemongering against Muslims, especially by French President Macron, which he argued justified unlawful provocation and insult to the sentiments of Muslims.

Condemning such blasphemous language and insults to Islam’s Prophet, the resolution also slammed acts of terror or violence in the name of any religion. It also deplored linking Islam and Muslims to terrorism, claiming it was against the spirit of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

Parliamentarians urged the government to recall its envoy from Paris and sever all diplomatic ties with France. They also called on it to work within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Countries to designate March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, and to unite with Muslim nations in a boycott of French goods.

French envoy

Pakistan on Monday also summoned French envoy Marc Baréty to lodge a “strong protest” against the publication of blasphemous caricatures and French President Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” statements.

According to a spokesperson for the Foreign Office, a demarche was handed to the French envoy by Special Secretary (Europe) Aman Rashid, in which Islamabad’s condemnations were conveyed.

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