Asia - Pacific

Pakistan condemns desecration of Quran in Netherlands

Islamabad urges governments to actively prevent such racist and Islamophobic acts

Amir Latif  | 26.09.2023 - Update : 26.09.2023
Pakistan condemns desecration of Quran in Netherlands Edwin Wagensveld, Dutch leader of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) tears the Holy Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands on September 23, 2023. ( Abdullah Asiran - Anadolu Agency )

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" the latest acts involving the desecration of the holy Quran that took place in the Netherlands in front of some embassies of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, including its own.

Calling the latest incidents "senseless and deeply offensive," Islamabad said "it is a deliberately provocative and Islamophobic act that has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world."

Edwin Wagensveld, the leader of PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, an Islamophobic group, tore copies of the Quran in front of the embassies of Türkiye, Indonesia and Pakistan in The Hague on Saturday.

Wagensveld also insulted Islam and Muslims.

"Such acts cannot be condoned under the guise of freedom of expression, opinion and protest," Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan believes that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities, the statement said, urging governments to actively prevent racist and Islamophobic acts, which incite religious hatred.

"It is important for the international community to raise its voice against Islamophobia and work in concert to promote interfaith harmony. That was the spirit behind the resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2022 to mark 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia,” the ministry added.

The ministry said it has conveyed its concerns to the Dutch authorities.

"We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and Muslims around the world and take active steps to prevent such hateful and Islamophobic acts," it added.

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