Pakistan voices concern over proliferation of Islamophobia in Europe

Published November 4, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi raised the issue at the Fifth Round of Pakistan-European Union Strategic Dialogue, which was held virtually. — AP/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi raised the issue at the Fifth Round of Pakistan-European Union Strategic Dialogue, which was held virtually. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday expressed concern over the proliferation of Islamophobia in Europe and called for urgent steps to address it.

The issue was raised by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Fifth Round of Pakistan-European Union Strategic Dialogue, which was held virtually. The session was co-chaired by Mr Qureshi and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Mr Josep Borrell.

“The foreign minister apprised his European counterpart about the concerns of Muslims around the world, including Pakistan regarding the growing trend of Islamophobia in some European countries,” the Foreign Office (FO) said.

The latest spell of Islamophobia began last month when French President Emmanuel Macron in some rude remarks about Islam described it as a religion “in crisis all over the world,” which had been taken over by extremists.

Read: Macron seeks to calm tensions with Muslims

He then vowed to fight “radical Islamism” and uphold secular values at all costs. His subsequent defence of the caricatures, other comments about Islam and action against Muslims added fuel to the fire.

Qureshi, EU’s Borrell co-chair virtual session of strategic dialogue

It is feared that the crisis unleashed by Mr Macron’s comments could draw Europe into greater polarisation that could affect its peace and security.

Mr Qureshi had earlier raised this issue with his other European counterparts in his conversations with them over the past few days and called for promoting inter-faith harmony for defusing the potentially dangerous situation.

EU-Pakistan dialogue reviewed the implementation of Pakistan-European Union Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP), which was signed in June last year.

The SEP is the new bilateral framework of cooperation that aims at the deepening of Pak-EU relations in all areas.

The FO said the two sides expressed satisfaction on the progress towards the implementation of the SEP.

The two sides at the dialogue exchanged views on regional and international issues and shared their assessments on the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and actions taken by the respective sides to mitigate its negative socio-economic impacts.

EU is Pakistan’s major trading and investment partner.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora had last month held the sixth round of Pakistan-European Political Dialogue.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2020

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...