Pakistan slams desecration of Quran at Geneva moot

Ambassador says absence of preventive legal deterrence encourages incitement to hatred, violence

APP April 02, 2023


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has termed the recent acts of desecration of the Holy Quran not just a provocation to the feelings of more than two billion Muslims in the world, but a step to sabotage interfaith harmony and peace.

“This year we have witnessed at least five incidents of public desecration of the Holy Quran in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands – as the latest manifestation of racial hatred and xenophobia,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Khalil Hashmi while speaking on behalf of the OIC told the 47-member Human Rights Council meeting on Friday.

“The OIC Group echoes the outrage of nearly two billion human beings whose faith is anchored in the message of Quran,” Ambassador Hashmi told the delegates, citing a verse from the holy book that read: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

The Pakistani envoy said an unequivocal condemnation should have been the starting point of the international community’s response to these acts.

He said, “Sadly, some chose to hide behind the self-serving interpretation of human rights.”

“Absence of preventive legal deterrence, inaction, and shying away from speaking out encourages further incitement to hatred and violence,” Hashmi said, noting that more incidents had followed, which was not surprising at all.

“If those responsible for prevention were not complicit earlier; they are now,” he said. “They are in violation of their obligations under international human rights laws.”

The Pakistani envoy said he was appalled at the human rights machinery’s general apathy towards these incidents.

“We particularly note with disappointment the choice made by special rapporteurs on freedom of religion and belief, and freedom of expression to not call out these deliberate acts of hatred,” he said.

“We reject selective academic interpretations of human rights law,” the envoy said. “It has shaken our faith in their work.”

He said, “Finally, we have a message for those enjoying impunity in desecrating our Holy book! When you hold the next copy, try reading it.”


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ