OIC rights body condemns French politicians for ‘encouraging’ blasphemous caricatures

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation consists of 57 member states. (AFP file photo)
Short Url
Updated 29 October 2020

OIC rights body condemns French politicians for ‘encouraging’ blasphemous caricatures

  • OIC’s human rights commissions recommends launching “inter-civilizational dialogue”
  • Pakistani PM urges leaders of Muslim states to tackle rising wave of Islamophobia through education

ISLAMABAD: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday condemned French politicians for encouraging the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The row over the cartoons has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on October 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a civics lesson.

The French government, backed by many citizens, saw the beheading as an attack on freedom of speech, and said they would defend the right to display the cartoons.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called the teacher a hero.

“OIC-IPHRC condemns remarks of French politicians encouraging publishing #blasphemouscaricatures under guise of distorted version of #righttofreedomofexpression which manifestly prohibits #incitementtohatred, discrimination n respect rights of others protected under #IHRL,” the body said in a series of tweets.

“Urge moderation and restraint at all levels, recommend initiating a comprehensive inter-civilizational dialogue to eliminate ‘double standards’, bridge socio-cultural misperceptions and enhance mutual respect,” the OIC-IPHRC said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote an open letter to “leaders of Muslim states,” urging them to deal with a rising wave of Islamophobia by educating people around the world about the religious sensitivities of Muslims.

“I believe the leaders in these countries often act out of lack of understanding of the intrinsically deep passion, love and devotion Muslims all over the world have for their Prophet PBUH and their divine book, the Holy Qur’an,” he wrote. “The time has come for the leaders of the Muslim world to take this message with clarity and unity to the rest of the world, especially the Western world, so an end is put to Islamophobia and attacks on Islam and our Prophet PBUH.”

Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

Updated 30 min 17 sec ago

Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

  • FM Qureshi praises the kingdom’s ‘farsighted initiative’ while calling for greater international collaboration in the digital domain
  • The new organization has been launched to enhance the growth of digital economy that is currently estimated to be over $11 trillion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday became one of the founding members of an organization launched by a group of Muslim countries to enhance the growth of digital economy, said an official statement circulated by the foreign office in Islamabad on Thursday.
Envisaged by Saudi Arabia, the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) also includes other Middle Eastern nations like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The DCO was launched at a virtual event hosted by the kingdom’s communication minister, Abdullah Al-Swaha.
It was also attended by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who shared his thoughts with the forum through a video message.
Qureshi lauded the Saudi minister’s “farsighted initiative,” said the statement, and noted that the creation of the organization would cater to the growing need of international cooperation and collaboration in the digital domain.
The Pakistani minister pointed out that the global digital economy was estimated to be worth over $11 trillion and was set to expand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“DCO would offer a platform to promote the global digital agenda in the scientific, health, educational, commercial, social, agricultural, investment and security spheres,” he said.
The foreign minister, who also chairs a dedicated digital diplomacy working group of leading IT experts in his country, added that information revolution presented a unique opportunity to deal with the development deficit in Pakistan through its skilled human resource that could also make significant contributions globally.