Pakistan commends Danish Govt’s move to prohibit desecration of Holy Quran

holy Quran burning

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan extended a warm welcome on Saturday to the Danish government’s recent initiative to introduce a bill aimed at banning the burning and desecration of the Holy Quran and other religious texts, hailing it as a “positive stride in the correct direction.”

The announcement came a day after Denmark unveiled its intentions to outlaw acts of disrespect towards religious scriptures, including the Holy Quran, following a series of incidents that triggered widespread anger across Muslim nations.

Scheduled for presentation to the parliament on September 1, the prohibition marks a significant shift since Denmark’s repeal of its longstanding blasphemy law, which had been in place for 334 years. The proposed bill is anticipated to secure passage through the legislative body, given the prevailing majority held by the current coalition government.

The legislative proposal extends its scope to encompass not only the desecration of the Holy Quran but also that of other sacred texts such as the Bible, Torah, and symbols like crucifixes. Perpetrators found in violation of the statute may face fines or a maximum imprisonment term of two years.

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A formal statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) emphasized the nation’s consistent stance on regarding the desecration and incineration of holy scriptures as “egregious manifestations of religious animosity,” which should not exploit the umbrella of freedom of expression, opinion, or protest.

In alignment with the principles enshrined in international human rights conventions and resonating with the directives of the UN Human Rights Council, the FO stressed the necessity to counteract such provocative acts through legally enforceable measures.

Citing the deep hurt inflicted upon the sentiments of the global Muslim population, exceeding 1.6 billion, by recent instances of Holy Quran desecration, the FO elucidated that these acts of profound disrespect aimed at sowing discord among communities and undermining interfaith concord and mutual regard.

The statement urged national governments to undertake decisive action in thwarting these manifestations of religious animosity, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, underscoring their obligation to protect social harmony and tranquility.

The FO expressed optimism that Denmark’s recent step would set a precedent for robust legislation against the desecration of divine texts, hoping that other countries would follow suit in unequivocally denouncing such hostile actions.

Notably, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen engaged in discussions with his Pakistani counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani, today. Jilani lauded Denmark’s proposed legal framework and expressed hopes that its successful enactment would foster interfaith harmony and dissolve the atmosphere of enmity among individuals of varied religious convictions.

In a tweet on X (formerly Twitter), Jilani praised Denmark’s endeavor, stating, “Pakistan commends the Danish government’s move to criminalize disrespectful treatment of religious texts and significant religious symbols, including the Holy Quran.” He further conveyed Rasmussen’s reiterated commitment to upholding religious sensitivities and fostering an environment of mutual respect.

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