People who cast insults against Islam’s prophet Mohammed should be treated the same way as those who deny the Holocaust, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Saturday. He added that claiming “freedom of speech” is no protection against hurting the feelings of observant Muslims.
Speaking after a week of violent protests in Pakistan by a radical Islamist party outraged by French government support for magazines publishing cartoons of Mohammed, Khan said insulting the prophet hurt Muslims around the world.
“We Muslims have the greatest love & respect for our Prophet,” he tweeted. “We cannot tolerate any such disrespect & abuse.”
“I… call on Western govts who have outlawed any negative comment on the holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet.”
Those in the West, incl extreme right politicians, who deliberately indulge in such abuse & hate under guise of freedom of speech clearly lack moral sense & courage to apologise to the 1.3 bn Muslims for causing this hurt. We demand an apology from these extremists.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 17, 2021
Denying the Holocaust is illegal in several European countries — including Germany and France — and offenders can be jailed while blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Pakistan, where laws allow for the death penalty to be used on anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures.
This is not the first time Khan has protested against the West for not protecting Mohammed from critical voices.
As Breitbart News reported, last year he joined a Muslim chorus condemning France’s President Emmanuel Macron for criticizing Islam and “hurting the feelings” of its “peaceful followers.”
“Hallmark of a leader is he unites human beings, as Mandela did, rather than dividing them. This is a time when President Macron could have put healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalization,” he said.
Pakistan Sentences Professor to Death for ‘Blasphemy’ Against Islam https://t.co/fkuSYbpHli
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 21, 2019
Khan claimed it is unfortunate Macron “encouraged Islamophobia” by attacking Islam for the actions of a few from the religion of peace and co-prosperity.
The cause of the furore, as Breitbart London reported, stems from Macron speaking out forcefully on Islam and its followers in France after local teacher Samuel Paty was publicly beheaded for allegedly showing cartoons of Muhammad in class.
France “will not give up our cartoons”, Macron maintained, as the entire country rallied around the idea of free speech.