Upholding Prophet’s respect duty of all Muslims: Nisar
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that upholding the Holy Prophet’s respect was not only a religious duty of countries linked to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) but Muslims across the world.
He urged Muslims to convey their sentiments and express their reservations at all international forums and called for formulating a unified plan of action at the OIC level and come up with a concrete strategy to ensure its implementation.
In a meeting with the OIC Secretary General Yousef Al Othaimeen, who is in Pakistan on his maiden visit, the interior minister stressed that there is deep concern and resentment amongst Pakistanis over the spread of blasphemous and sacrilegious content.
He said that for the past few months social media is being used to propagate blasphemous content which, he said, is intolerable for any Muslim. “Pakistanis feel deeply hurt that the Islamic world so far has not taken notice of the matter in an effective manner,” he stated.
“This issue does not concern Pakistan alone but relates to the entire Muslim Ummah,” the minister added.
Nisar said Pakistan on its part has raised the issue with international service providers and has achieved some successes in curbing such content on social media. But effective and long-term solution of the issue would result when joint efforts by the Islamic world are made.
The minister called upon OIC to become the voice of Muslim Ummah for curbing blasphemous content and checking trends of Islamophobia.
He suggested that besides raising voice on all platforms including the United Nations, indigenous technical resources of OIC must be utilised to check propagation of sacrilegious content through the internet especially social media.
Nisar called for institutional mechanism to pool technical resources of the Muslim world.
“The entire Muslim Ummah must join hands to press upon social media service providers to ensure that effective measures are in place to filter and preclude uploading of such contents,” he underscored.
“The manner in which our most revered personalities are being defiled is intolerable and unacceptable. At a time when the entire world is combating terrorism and is trying to overcome tendency towards extremism and fanaticism, such a tendency would spread the flames of hatred among religions and would promote extremism thus further widening the gulf between various nations and religious communities”.
Nisar reiterated his call that there can be no dual standards regarding freedom of expression.
“The international community must realize that addressing the concerns of the Muslims was critical to discourage extremist elements and to ensure international peace,” the minister said.
The minister also observed that it was quite unfortunate that the biggest sufferers of the scourge of terrorism have to face the issues of Islamophobia and blasphemy. He said that the investigations into the matter has established that such contents are mostly uploaded from foreign countries and some elements residing in foreign countries provide financial support and other resources to those who are into propagating blasphemous content.