- Pakistan has always stressed need for peaceful coexistence: FO.
- Controversial protest comes weeks after man desecrated Holy Quran.
- “Islam calls for respect for all religions, sacred personalities.”
Pakistan on Saturday assailed the Swedish authorities for allowing public desecration of the Torah and Bible in Stockholm, days after a man desecrated Holy Quran outside a mosque in the country’s capital.
“Offensive acts of religious hatred cannot be condoned in the guise of freedom of expression and opinion,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Swedish police on Friday said they had granted a permit for a protest which would include burning holy texts outside the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, sparking condemnation from Israel and Jewish organisations.
The controversial protest, scheduled for Saturday (today), comes weeks after a man set fire to pages of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm’s main mosque — leading to widespread outrage and condemnations around the world.
The demonstration would include a burning of the Torah and the Bible, was in response to the Holy Quran burning protest and would be an expression in support of freedom of speech, according to the application to police.
In a comment to AFP, Stockholm police stressed that in line with Swedish legislation they granted permits for people to hold public gatherings and not for the activities conducted during them.
“The police does not issue permits to burn various religious texts — the police issues permits to hold a public gathering and express an opinion,” said Carina Skagerlind, press officer for Stockholm police.
Reacting to the scheduled protest, the FO said: “As a religion of peace, Islam calls for respect for all religions, sacred personalities and holy scriptures.”
In line with this Islamic ethos, Pakistan has always stressed the need to advance mutual respect, harmony and peaceful coexistence among religions, faiths, and cultures, it added.
The FO communique called upon the international community to condemn, with one voice, all such abhorrent acts of religious hatred, which hurt the sentiments of its followers and constitute deliberate incitement.
— With additional input from AFP