Pakistan moves Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation for joint condemnation of anti-Islamic film
UNITED NATIONS: As foreign ministers of Islamic countries condemned the anti-Islam film at their annual coordination meeting, Pakistan Friday introduced a declaration that reflects their outrage over the hate effort, calling it a violation of freedom of expression.
“The international community needs to stand together to decry proponents of hatred working under the garb of freedom of expression,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the ministerial-level meeting of member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) while submitting the draft of the declaration.
“We must promote universal respect for all religions as religion should be used as a bridge, bringing nations together, not as a wall keeping nations apart,” she said in her address to the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.
Khar called for adoption of the declaration by consensus, and conference officials said that OIC foreign ministers will take action Friday evening.
The declaration called the release of ‘Innocence of Muslims’, which triggered violent riots in the Islamic world, ‘despicable’, saying such Islamophobic acts ‘stand in the way of religion and relief’.
It calls on all governments to take appropriate measures, including legislation, against these acts that lead to incitement of hatred, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religion.
The declaration underscores the importance of dialogue, understanding and cooperation among religions, cultures and civilisations for peace and harmony in the world.
It welcomed efforts made by the media to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and encourages them to disseminate the true image of religions and faiths focusing on their basic tenants of peace and tolerance.
Expressing Pakistan’s outrage over the film, Khar said, “We urge all member states to take all measures including implementation of necessary policies and legislation against these acts in line with their obligations under international human rights law.”