Pakistan’s religious party hails Putin’s anti-blasphemy stance

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Siraj-ul-Haq calls Russian president’s stand ‘great’ effort to mitigate rising Islamophobia in West.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – A mainstream Pakistani religious party has hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stance against blasphemy.

Siraj-ul-Haq, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, in an open letter to Putin released to the media on Monday, thanked him for drawing the world’s attention to Muslims’ feelings against offensive language or publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.

Last week, Putin said insulting the prophet is a violation of freedom of religion and a violation of the holy feelings of people who profess Islam.

This freedom must be founded on respect for everyone whose feelings may be affected, Putin said at his annual news conference last Thursday.

“On behalf of the people of Pakistan, and members of my party, I would like to reiterate our commitment to upholding values of respect, harmony, dialogue, and peaceful coexistence,” Haq said, adding, “We believe in cooperation among various civilizations to promote the well-being of all the humanity.”

“We believe it will be a great service to humanity if world leaders like yourself take it upon themselves to promote understanding among different civilizations,” he said, asking the Russian President to play a “leading role” in mitigating a rising phenomenon of Islamophobia, particularly in the West.

“As a leading figure on the global stage, your voice will find resonance in East and West. You can play a leading role in mitigating Islamophobia, as well as hostility towards other minority communities around the world. We can be called civilized when we care to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our societies,” Haq insisted.

“We thank you once again for winning the hearts of about two billion Muslims around the world by speaking for protection of the sanctity of their beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” he added.


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