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Nation to hold protests on July 7 against Holy Quran’s desecration in Sweden

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In order to uphold the sanctity of the Holy Quran, the federal government has announced holding countrywide protests on Friday (July 7) against the recent incident of desecration of the holy book in Sweden.

The despicable act of the public burning of a copy of the holy book in Stockholm on the occasion of Eid ul Adha sparked worldwide protests and outrage. A man set a copy of the sacred book ablaze outside a mosque in the Swedish capital.

Presiding over a meeting in Islamabad, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday decided to stage countrywide protests over the incident and appealed to all the political parties and the nation to partake in the rallies.

“Speaking with one voice, the whole nation will give a message to the evil minds,” said the premier. He added that the nation will observe the “Youm-e-Taqaddus Quran” on Friday.

In addition to this, the premier decided to convene a joint session of parliament to devise a national strategy over the Sweden incident.

“The sentiments and feelings of the nation should be fully expressed through the forum of parliament,” the PM added. The joint session will unanimously pass a resolution against the recent incident of desecration of the holy book in Sweden, the premier added.

Earlier today, amid worldwide protests and outrage over the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden, the United Nations Human Rights Council announced to hold its urgent session to address Islamophobia and religious hatred after Pakistan’s request.

Addressing a press briefing, a spokesperson for the Geneva-based UN Council said that the session will discuss the rising religious hatred in the world.

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which is meeting in session until July 14, will change its agenda to stage an urgent debate, following a request from Pakistan.

“The UN Human Rights Council will hold an urgent debate to ´discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred, as manifested by the current desecration of the Holy Quran in some European and other countries´,” council spokesman Pascal Sim told reporters, citing the wording of the request.

‘Despicable act’

Last week, Pakistan strongly condemned the “despicable act” of the public burning of a copy of the Holy Quran.

“Such wilful incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence cannot be justified under the pretext of freedom of expression and protest,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office in condemnation of the abhorrent incident read.

The FO stated that international law binds all the states to prevent and prohibit any advocacy of “religious hatred” that leads to incitement of violence.

“The recurrence of such Islamophobic incidents during the last few months in the West calls into serious question the legal framework which permits such hate-driven actions.”

The FO, on Pakistan’s behalf, reiterated that the right to freedom of expression and opinion does not provide a license to stoke hatred and sabotage inter-faith harmony.

It said that the concerns regarding the matter were being raised with the government of Sweden.

It also urged the international community and the national governments to undertake credible and concrete measures to prevent the rising incidents of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

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