ISLAMABAD, April 15: The National Assembly on Tuesday unanimously condemned the printing of sacrilegious cartoons and release of an anti-Islam film by a Dutch parliamentarian.

Lawmakers from both sides demanded effective measures to ensure that Pakistan snapped diplomatic and trade relations with countries involved in hurting Muslims’ sentiments.

Information Minister Sherry Rahman sought to move a resolution with the support of the opposition for its unanimous passage, although a resolution on the subject by PML-N’s Sahibzada Fazle Karim was already on the agenda.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani asked the chair to allow a couple of speeches after the adoption of the resolution.

Mr Fazle Karim said outrageous acts against Islam and the Muslims had taken place in Europe over the past two years under an international conspiracy and such acts must be stopped.

He said the United Nations should frame a legal course of action against the provokers.

Sahibzada Hamid Saeed Kazmi asked the prime minister to convene a conference of heads of Muslim countries and try to stop attacks by the western media on Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Hanif Abbasi said the UN should be approached to take effective measures to stop such attacks by the western media.

Marvi Memon of the PML-Q said the West was intent on instigating the Ummah through blasphemous moves so that it could be used for initiating a clash of civilisations.

Bushra Rahman of the PML-Q asked the house to observe a two-minute daily silence in protest.

Mehboobullah Jan proposed that a parliamentary delegation be sent to Denmark and other European countries to explain to them the immense love and respect the Muslims had for the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Mohammad Barjees Tahir, Naseer Bhutta, Khush Bakht Shujaat, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, Engineer Shaukatullah, Dr Attia Inayatullah, Akram Masih Gil and Dr Tariq Fazl Chaudhry supported the proposal of taking the issue to the UN.

The resolution piloted by Ms Rahman said: “The house strongly condemns the printing and reprinting of the sacrilegious and blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and the release of an offensive and derogatory documentary on Islam entitled ‘Fitna’ by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

“The house firmly believes that these acts of defamation and incitement to hatred not only deeply hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the world but also threaten the stability of many societies and, as such, are in violation of international law, including the UN Charter, as well as the domestic laws of the countries where these sacrilegious acts were carried out.

“The house takes note of the strong protest lodged with the respective governments by the government of Pakistan as well as other Muslim countries individually or collectively in the OIC framework in this regard. The governments of Netherlands and Denmark have been asked to prosecute the responsible people for defaming other religions under their own laws. “The house calls on the UN to take all necessary legal, political and administrative steps to curb this trend and ensure respect for all religions in these societies.”

The assembly also adopted the resolution moved by Mr Karim.



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