NEW YORK: The head of a United Nations anti-extremism body has shown great concern over rising stress over blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him), urging “mutual respect” among people of various faiths and political views.
On Wednesday a statement comes out by UN official Miguel Angle Morations, who heads the UN Alliance of Civilization on growing anger in the Muslim world over France’s reply to the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils the blasphemous images as part of a class on free speech.
The President of France Emmanuel Macron has strongly defended the publication of the blasphemous images on free speech grounds, flashing angry protests across swathes of the Muslim world and campaigns to boycott French products.
UN official Miguel Angel in his statement apprised that “the inflammatory images have also provoked acts of violence against innocent civilians who were attacked for their sheer religion, belief or ethnicity,” Moratinos said in the statement.
“Insulting religions and holy religious symbols provoke abhorrence and violent extremism leading to divergence and fragmentation of the society,” he warned. The statement revealed that sovereignty of religion and freedom of expression are “interdependent, interrelated and mutually re-enforcing rights” rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“keeping and protecting these fundamental rights is the primary responsibility of member states,” the statement read. Many activists have criticized France for attacking sacred symbols of minorities in the name of freedom of speech.
MUSLIM WORLD ANNOYED:
In response to the statement given by the French President, the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan replied that the French leader needed “mental checks” over his attitude towards Islam. Top Muslim world officials have also strongly condemned France and Emmanuel Macron, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran; whereas tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests in Bangladesh calling for a boycott of French goods.
The tension in this regard, further intensified, when on Wednesday French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a new image depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. In response, the Turkish president has threatened to take legal action against the French magazine.
Subsequently, Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan wrote a letter on Wednesday to the leaders of Muslim-majority countries, soliciting them “to act collectively to oppose mounting Islamophobia in Non-Muslim states”.
In the letter, Imran Khan apprised that leaders of these countries did not understand the love and devotion Muslims all over the world have for Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and their divine book the Holy Quran”. Moreover, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the French president’s defence of the blasphemous cartoons a “stupid act” and an “insult” to those who voted for him.