Published On: Wed, Feb 1st, 2023
Published in Category: Islamabad

OIC denounces desecration of Holy Quran; urges joint action to stop recurrence

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ISLAMABAD: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation convened an open-ended extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee on Tuesday to express the organization’s common stance against the recent desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, the meeting also discussed the possible actions that the OIC could take against the perpetrators of the despicable Islamophobic attacks.

During the meeting, the OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha reiterated his dismay at the provocative acts done by far-right activists, emphasizing that such actions were criminal acts perpetrated with the main intention to target Muslims, to insult their sacred religion, values, and symbols.

He said that the relevant governments must take severe counter-measures, especially because such provocations have been committed repeatedly by far-right extremists in their countries.

He said the intentional act of desecrating the Holy Quran and insulting Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) must not be seen as just an ordinary incident of Islamophobia. Such an act is a direct insult to the entire 1.6 billion Muslim population, he added.

Brahim Taha hence called all stakeholders to take firm action so that similar provocation will not reoccur in the future.

For his part, the Saudi Permanent Representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Saleh Al-Suhaibani stressed that these actions could only be considered an insult and contempt for all Muslims, indicating that these despicable acts blatantly contradict the human, moral and religious principles and values of all peoples who love peace and coexistence.

“The recurrence of these heinous acts in more than one place raises many questions about the negligence and failure of some governments in limiting the phenomenon of Islamophobia and taking the necessary measures to stop provocations and punish their perpetrators under the pretext of freedom of expression.

He stressed that Saudi Arabia had expressed its condemnation and absolute rejection of these provocative actions against the feelings of millions of Muslims in various parts of the world.

He called for serious qualitative action through the OIC and its institutions to highlight the pivotal role that Islam played in the development and prosperity of many peoples and civilizations throughout history and to work to spread the message of Islam to the world by organizing cultural exhibitions and holding influential events.

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Türkiye to the OIC, Ambassador Mehmet Metin Eker, said that Türkiye strongly condemned the recent despicable aggressions against the Holy Quran in Stockholm, The Hague and Kopenhagen.

“Unfortunately, the failure of the Swedish authorities to take the necessary precautions against the attack on the Holy Qur’an on January 21st has encouraged similar attacks in the Netherlands and Denmark afterwards,” he added.

He said the “hatred against Islam had reached an alarming level in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe. We observe with great concern how far-right politicians use anti-Islam and xenophobic rhetoric for their own narrow agenda, he added.

He stressed that the attempts to denigrate the sanctity of the Holy Quran as well as other sacred values and symbols of Islam, including the Holy Prophet (PBUH), under the guise of freedom of expression were contrary to the spirit of certain international legal documents on human rights such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

He called on the ambassadors of the OIC Member States in the respective capitals where vile acts against the Holy Quran and other Islamic holy symbols take place, to collectively make efforts with respect to the national parliaments, media, civil society organizations as well as the governmental institutions.

The Permanent Representative of Türkiye also called for strengthening the Islamophobia Observatory in order to efficiently engage with the international partners and better follow up.