Distortion of religious beliefs intolerable: Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Friday said distortion of religious beliefs and sacrilege of holy personalities of any religion was intolerable.

Chairing a meeting of the ambassadors of the Islamic countries, he said no law permits showing disrespect or distortion of any religion, a press release said.

The meeting was convened by the interior minister on one point agenda to discuss blasphemous content on social media and how to effectively raise voice of the entire Muslim world against the madness unleashed against Islam and holy personalities in the name of freedom of expression.

The minister said it was unfortunate that the Muslims being the biggest victims of terrorism were being portrayed as the perpetrators.

He said the Islamic Ummah should strive together to impress upon the international community to shed off Islamophobia.

Nisar said distortion of any religion was also another form of terrorism that the international community should acknowledge.

He said sections of the western world should get out of double standards about Islam and the Muslims. On one hand, they had laws against any kind of distortion or disrespect towards any religion and on the other hand, the most revered personalities of Islam were being ridiculed.

There was unanimity among the participants that the entire Muslim Ummah was united to protect the sanctity and dignity of the religion and Holy Prophet Peace Be upon Him.

It was decided that a comprehensive strategy paper encompassing all legal and technical aspects would be circulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among the ambassadors of the Muslim countries which they would be sharing with their governments to evolve future plan of action.

It was also decided that a formal reference would be sent to Secretary General of the Arab League and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference raising the issue of blasphemous content on social media and how such a tendency had been hurting the sentiments of the Muslims across the world.

The meeting decided that after response was received from the government of the Islamic countries, the matter then would be taken up at the level of United Nations besides looking into legal options available to follow-up the matter legally in the courts of the respective countries from where such content was being generated.

The ambassadors greatly appreciated the interior minister’s initiative for highlighting the issue and taking lead role towards finding a solution to the issue.

They agreed in principle with the strategy identified by the interior minister.

Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, secretary interior and senior officers of the interior ministry were also present during the meeting.

The ambassadors present during the meeting were Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Qatar, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Jordon, Kuwait, Malaysia, Palestine, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and high commissioners of Maldives and Brunei Darus Salam. —APP