Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged Muslim leaders to take a stand against rising Islamophobia.
In this regard, PM has written a letter to the Muslim heads of the states urging them to “collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism” caused by Islamophobic acts and statements by leaders of Western, especially European, countries.
The development comes days after France displayed the blasphemous cartoons of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on government buildings and adding more to that, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, defended the act and remarked that “Islamists want our future”.
The copy of the letter was shared by PM Khan on social media on Wednesday, with a caption saying, “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”.
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
Pakistani premier in his letter has highlighted the growing concern and restlessness amongst [Muslim] ummah as they see the rising tide of Islamophobia and attacks through ridicule and mockery [of] our beloved Prophet (PBUH)” in the Western world, especially in Europe.
“The recent statements at the leadership level and incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran are a reflection of this increasing Islamophobia that is spreading in European countries where sizeable Muslim populations reside,” writes PM Imran.
He further added that the leadership of European countries “often acts out of lack of understanding” of the respect and love the Muslim population holds for the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet and said that their actions lead to a “dangerous cycle of actions and reactions”, which leads to further marginalization of Muslims in those societies.
“[…] The resulting marginalization leads to radicalization and this vicious cycle continues to create increasing space for extremists on all sides,” PM added.
“I urge all our Muslim leaders as a collectivity to raise our 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 our Prophet (PBUH). It is time to reach out to ‘the other’ and end cycles of violence bred of ignorance and hate,” the prime minister wrote.
He also highlighted that criticism and questioning of the Holocaust — during which at least six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the 1940s — had been criminalized by Western countries and said that the Muslim world “understand(s) and respect(s) that”.
“However, there has to be an understanding by the Western world of giving a similar respect to Muslims, who have also their people killed in mass numbers from Bosnia to Iraq to Afghanistan to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, but for whom the pain and hurt are greatest when we see attacks on our faith and beloved Prophet (PBUH) through mockery, ridicule, and abuse”, he added.
PM Imran Khan also highlighted that blasphemy against any prophet, including those of Christianity and Judaism, is “unacceptable” for Muslims.
He reiterated that the “world cannot continue on this hate spiral which only benefits extremist agendas on all sides”.