LAHORE: Church of Pakistan and religious organisations on Monday got together to condemn the display of sacrilegious caricatures and behaviour of the French president, calling it an attempt to “sabotage interfaith harmony.”

Addressing a joint press conference here, leadership of different religions and religious schools of thought along with Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said that “Islamophobia is affecting religions across the world.”

The religious leadership underlined that the UN should come forward to ensure legislation for honour and sanctity of all the heavenly religions and scriptures.

The leadership stated that all the heavenly religions command for peace, harmony, leniency and affection among faithful of all the religions. “Whatever is going on in France has no linkage with any religion and we condemn it all.”

Tahir Ashrafi said Prime Minister Imran Khan has represented sentiments of all peaceful people of the world when he condemned the incident and called for steps against Islamophobia. The Foreign Office is in contact with world leaders and Muslim countries on the French issue.

In the foreign ministerial level meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a unanimous stance will be taken on the French president’s words and actions through a resolution.

To a question, Ashrafi said the OIC, Muslim World League, Jamiatul Azhar and other Islamic organisations were in contact to prepare a joint strategy against the caricatures because the honour and sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dear to Muslims over everything else in the world. Interfaith harmony councils are being constituted all over the country to firm up response to the French president.

Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi was flanked by the representatives from Church of Pakistan Dr. Azad Marshall, Father James Chunan, Pastor Emanuel Khokhar, Pastor Abid, Maulana Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Maulana Asadullah Farooq, Maulana Ashfaq Patafi, Maulana Zubair Abid, Maulana Aslam Siddiqui, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Farooqi, Allama Younas Hassan, Syed Osama Bukhari, Maulana Naeem Badsha and others.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2020