Pakistan concerned at rising Islamophobia in the West

Published: April 13, 2016
Aziz says Muslim minorities being alienated and marginalised, living in fear. PHOTO: REUTERS

Aziz says Muslim minorities being alienated and marginalised, living in fear. PHOTO: REUTERS


Amid growing Islamophobia in the west, Pakistan has voiced deep concerns at what it called a “sharp rise in hate speech, discriminatory acts and social hostility against Muslims”, particularly in the countries where they are in minority.

“We are also witnessing an increase in instances of physical and psychological violence against Muslims and their businesses and places of worship. Muslim minorities are being alienated and marginalised. Many of them live in fear,” said Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in his speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Istanbul ahead of a summit meeting.

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Aziz said western media’s ignorant portrayals of Muslims were providing fuel to the campaign of hate and bigotry. “At a time when there is a need to urge all communities to develop tolerance and respect for each other, we see the unfortunate rise of political opportunism by spreading fear and xenophobia.”

He warned that “if left unchecked, such instances and political shortsightedness will grow rapidly in the years to come. It is our collective responsibility to reverse these trends.”

“We attach importance to freedom of expression. We, however, refuse to accept that it allows insults against Islam and hate speech and incitement to violence against Muslims.”

Aziz also spoke about the current challenges facing the Muslim countries, particularly disunity and problems of terrorism and extremism. In these difficult times, solidarity and unity of the Ummah is needed more than at any other time in our 1,400 years’ long history, he added.

“We must rekindle the spirit of brotherhood and one community that has characterised the Muslim people, for justice and peace, especially in Palestine and Afghanistan.”

Aziz maintained that resolving issues through mutual consultations, therefore, was not only our religious duty but also a political imperative for ensuring peace and security of our peoples.

He said any member state amongst the OIC that could assist in bridging the differences between the brotherly countries must step forward and play a role.

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“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif acted in this spirit when he visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran in January 2016. We are thankful for the cooperation we received from our brothers,” he told the conference.

Today, terrorism and violent extremism pose serious threat to international peace and security. The menace has inflicted immeasurable human and economic losses, he said. “Pakistan has always supported that a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy is needed to tackle this global problem.”

He said the complexity of challenge also demands enhanced and shared understanding and deeper dialogue between countries, cultures and civilisations.

The meeting of the 57-member OIC comes at a time of turmoil in many Muslim nations, with conflicts in Syria and Yemen dragging on and several states, including Turkey, bloodied by militant violence.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • indian
    Apr 13, 2016 - 9:04AM

    explain how there was rape attacks in germany by immigrant muslimsRecommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Apr 13, 2016 - 10:32AM

    The more we will go far from the real teachings of Islam the more we will face the hatred and prejudice all over the world against us and in this regard the most important factor is disunity and distrust among the Muslims and Muslim countries….Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Apr 13, 2016 - 1:55PM

    Action and reaction.Recommend

  • Naila
    Apr 13, 2016 - 4:29PM

    Pakistanies should be more concerned about the existing hate among themselves. Dont worry about the west, fix yourself first. Recommend

  • Pin2`
    Apr 13, 2016 - 4:55PM

    Pakistan should also show some concern towards its contribution to rising islamophobia in the world. Majority of terror attacks inteh world have some kind link with Pakistan and there are people who openly condone such attacks.

    Its always better to look inward first.Recommend

  • Asif
    Apr 13, 2016 - 5:45PM

    Please explain to the world the suicide blast that took place in your own backyard – Lahore’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal park – targeting innocent Christians who were celebrating Easter.Recommend

  • Tp
    Apr 13, 2016 - 6:55PM

    There is nothing to explain. Lack of education and a lack of will to earn a living are the two main problems.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Apr 13, 2016 - 7:03PM

    Did Mr. Aziz look at and pay any attention to Pakistan and other Islamic countries? How are these countries treating their own minority groups?Recommend

  • Suresh Kumar
    Apr 13, 2016 - 8:26PM

    Can he give the same speech in Pakistan ? Pls publish my comment.Recommend

  • XoF
    Apr 13, 2016 - 8:38PM

    Unlike day to day routinely rapes of IndiaRecommend

  • someone
    Apr 13, 2016 - 9:45PM

    Mostly Muslims are involved in rape cases in India too. By the way what about HIndu or Jew phobia in Pakistan?Recommend

  • KuF
    Apr 13, 2016 - 11:52PM

    Difference is , in India, rape case comes forth, rapists gets punished. In Pakistan, nobody talks about it and the rapists keep on getting their own way. So good luck with that statistics.Recommend

  • cbing
    Apr 14, 2016 - 12:09AM

    Just answer these questions Pakistan. Why are you concerned? Aren’t you the country formed on the basis for providing good life to Muslims of India, yet passed a law in parliament declaring a minority sect of people non muslims? When a group of muslims is discriminated and attacked in a muslim country, shouldn’t your concern first start at home? And Pakistanis with passports don’t mind to reply, as you already signed a written agreement of discriminating them.Recommend

  • Ryan
    Apr 14, 2016 - 12:53AM

    Being Muslim is a matter of choice, not compulsion. So, people living in the west should opt out of Islam, if it is not accepted there. Islam is incompatible with western societies. They cannot practice anything which is against the culture and values of those countries.Recommend

  • AliH
    Apr 14, 2016 - 1:20AM

    Well… I’ve never faced any discrimination against my religion while living 3 years in Canada & USA. Respect their culture and try to give something to their society. If you’re wearing something like full Hijab or Burka, then ready to face the impact.Recommend

  • Buckra
    Apr 14, 2016 - 1:29AM

    Why even bother going to west. All Muslims should boycott west and move back to OIC nations. Muslims are smart people, they can develop nations and make them better than USA.Recommend

  • buga
    Apr 14, 2016 - 3:19AM

    Hard to take his comments seriously. Pakistan is notorious for systematic persecution of minorities.Recommend

  • Pronto
    Apr 14, 2016 - 4:11AM

    The Muslim is afraid? Good.Recommend

  • Pushtun voice
    Apr 14, 2016 - 5:00AM

    @Indian….you should worry about the rapes in your country. New Delhi is the rape capital of the worldRecommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 14, 2016 - 6:36AM

    My religion is simple. My religion is Kindness.
    End Quote.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqui
    Apr 14, 2016 - 6:52AM

    I am more concerned with Islamophobia in Muslim nations. 99% of Muslims die at the hands of other Muslims.Recommend

  • avtar
    Apr 14, 2016 - 8:15AM

    Pakistan should look in the mirror!. It is following the policies of its big brother, KSA.
    Name a Muslim country that is tolerant of minorities, including various Muslim sects.
    Pakistanis, along with nationals of other countries, where they choose to migrate. The only thing certain is that Pakistanis do not want to go to KSA.Recommend

  • True
    Apr 14, 2016 - 8:31AM

    @Pushtun voice:
    Then you should see your own backyard. Go to karachi and other parts of pakistan you will see the truck drivers raping the street boys to their pleasure. You say Delhi is the rape capital then what you say to your cities where father is raping their daughter, uncle is raping his brother’s daughter and where a 5 year old kids getting raped. Every country have some problem but we are not the people of low mentality like you and your country men who rape their own kid. Also google some fact and see New Delhi doesn’t have high crime rate in the world. If you google to know the facts you will get some other answer. From your answer i can see that illogical and factless people you people are and thinks that you can winbthe world with your useless brain. By the way your name here is “@Pushtun voice” but for your kind info its spelled as “Pashtun” please go to school for some knowledge rather going to madrassa.Recommend

  • james lee
    Apr 14, 2016 - 1:04PM

    They should start worrying more about letsbombislamia and less about islamophobia. Recommend

  • Guy_Gosinya
    Apr 15, 2016 - 2:53AM

    OK, so let me get this straight……..

    The Pakistani government is concerned about “hate speech” and “social hostility”because people don’t like their surrogates blowing up children’s birthday parties? Gunning down hotel guests, or blowing people up for the simple crime of standing at a ticket counter or attending a concert? Yeah. Ok. Understood.Recommend

  • Apr 15, 2016 - 4:00AM

    Pakistan should concentrate on its own treatment of religious minorities.Recommend

  • Larry A. Singleton
    Apr 21, 2016 - 4:24AM

    Apparently they only want views that reflect their own here, where censorship of opposing viewpoints is alive and well like Jewish Voice for Peace who Blocked me on their Fakebook page and deleted/censored my comments.

    I’m in the middle of the essay False Moral Equivalence as a Tool to Demonize Israel by Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk. Moral equivalences such as comparing Jews to the Nazis and Israel as an “apartheid state”. Read Inside BDS by Dan Pine.

    Of course this won’t see the light of day either.Recommend

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