Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has urged the United Nations to make a law that bans hate speech which ignites the emotions of tens of millions of Muslims across the world.
Addressing the Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH) Conference, the premier made a demand to the UN s and other international organizations to devise a law in this regard.
He observed, “We ask the UN and other international organisations to create a law that bans hate speech which foments hatred, sows the seeds of discord and stands in violation to the norms of humanity and interfaith harmony.”
He further stated, “Our demand is simple, blasphemy of the kind witnessed in this case is nothing short of hate speech, equal to the worst kind of anti-Semitism and bigotry.”
Expressing his sense of regret over the act of people who had tried to defame the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a most honourable and revered personality, PM Ashraf said that people were enraged after discovering that this was a deliberate and premeditated act stemming out of biases of a certain faction.
The premier remained the West that Pakistan was the only Islamic country officially observing a day of protest, saying that it was collective responsibility of the nation to protest peacefully without causing any damage to the life and property.
President Zardari would be taking up the issue at the General Assembly of the United Nations next week in his address and would convey the people’s emotions and views to the world body, he added.
He insisted, “On the occasion of Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool, it is our religious obligation that the protests should remain peaceful.”
PM Ashraf continued that there was a surge in sacrilegious material over the past few years and that denigrating the faith under the garb of freedom of speech has become excessively common.
He stated, “It is sad that the ‘open-minded’ people of the world – who stand against religious extremism and terrorism and consider disrespecting the sentiments of the common man a violation of human rights –justify hurting religious emotions of nearly 1.5 billion Muslims as freedom of speech.”
Stressing upon the principles of interfaith harmony, tolerance and respect between all religions, he said that it was the lack of these elements in everyday life that cause extremism and terrorism.