PM Khan urges Muslim world to register ‘strong protest’ against blasphemous caricatures contest

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a video message released on Thursday, criticised the Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders' announcement to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures, saying the act was hurting the sentiments of Muslims living all around the world.

Shortly after the video was released, Wilder made an announcement that he was cancelling the contest following "death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk".

The premier, in the video, said that people living in the West don’t understand the feelings and religious sentiments of Muslims, “because we have never tried to explain to them how we value our religion”.

"They [the West] have their own way of looking at their religions, while we [Muslims] look at it in a very different way," the premier explained.

PM Khan urged all Muslim countries to use the platform of United Nations to convey to the western world how Muslims feel when their religious sentiments are repeatedly hurt by disrespecting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

In his video message, the premier also announced that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had already started to get in touch with the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) members.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the Senate for the first time as prime minister, had said that the absence of an international policy against the generation of blasphemous content is a "collective failure" on part of the Muslim countries.

"Our government will raise the matter in the OIC and ask the Muslim countries to come up with a collective policy that could then be brought up at international forums. This should have been done years ago," PM Khan said while giving the example of the Holocaust and how four European countries have jail sentences for "anyone who misquotes the figures of Holocaust. That is because they realise that this is something that hurts the sentiments of the Jewish community."

Foreign Minister Qureshi had raised the issue of the blasphemous cartoon caricature competition with the Dutch foreign minister and also called upon the OIC to summon an urgent session for adopting a unanimous position in response to the planned Dutch blasphemous event.

The abominable act of the Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures was provoking, which had hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world, Qureshi had said, adding that "such acts would spread hatred and intolerance".



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