NA condemns publication of blasphemous caricatures

 NAAAISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution against the publication of blasphemous caricatures by a French journal.

The resolution tabled by Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and unanimously supported by treasury and opposition benches called upon the international community, particularly the member states of European Union, OIC and the UN to take decisive steps to stop such practice.

The resolution while strongly condemning the printing and reprinting of the blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) took serious note of the continued trend of their reproduction in numerous newspapers and magazines of other Western capitals.

“This House genuinely believes that freedom of expression should not be misused as means to attack or hurt public sentiments and religious beliefs and in this regard Article 20 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights be followed by all states,” the resolution reads.

“The House is of the opinion that such malicious attacks on the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and all other Messengers of Allah are means to Hate Speech. These are deliberate attempts to incite violence, create discord, widen misunderstandings among civilizations and thereby provide opportunities to the terrorist elements to capitalize on public sentiments,” the resolution says.

House strongly condemns all kinds of violence under whatever pretext. Islam is a faith of peace and tolerance. Nobody should be allowed to distract this universal and all-pervading message and spirit of Islam”, the resolution adds.

Earlier, speaking on the issue Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said that the publication of blasphemous caricatures is hurting the feelings of about 1.7 billion Muslims in the world.

He called upon the European nations to pay attention towards this sensitive issue as it was not only hurting the feelings of Muslims all over the world but also providing a justification to terrorists to exploit the situation.

Khawaja Saad Rafique said that Islam preaches peace and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) established the Islamic State of Madina on the basis of tolerance.

He said publication of blasphemous caricatures in the name of freedom of expression was in fact providing a wrong reason to those who were having extremist thoughts. He said blasphemy of any religion or Prophet should not be allowed in the name of freedom of expression.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said that the entire Pakistani nation condemned this act. He said that the government would condemn and raise the issue at all forums.

Jamat-e-Islami’s Sher Akbar while condemning the publication of blasphemous caricatures said that besides adopting the resolution a march should be held to condemn the act. PML-F’s Ghous Baksh Mehar said that blasphemous caricatures were a conspiracy against Muslims.

MNA’s Jamshed Dasti, Ejaz-ul-Haq, Shazia Marri, Shah G Gul Afridi, Sheikh Salahudeen, Khalil George also condemned the publication and republication of blasphemous caricatures.

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