Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the absence of an international policy against the generation of blasphemous content is a “collective failure” on part of the Muslim countries.
Addressing the Senate for the first time as prime minister on Monday 27 August, Imran Khan said his government will raise the matter before the United Nations.
The Senate had passed a resolution to bring the UN’s attention to the matter regarding the announcement by the leader of Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures.
“Our government will raise the matter in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and ask the Muslim countries to come up with a collective policy that could then be brought up at international forums.”
“This should have been done years ago,” PM Khan said while giving the example of the Holocaust and how four European countries have jail sentences for “anyone who misquotes the figures of Holocaust. That is because they realise that this is something that hurts the sentiments of the Jewish community.”
“We need a similar policy for this matter so that people do not repeatedly hurt our sentiments.”
Meanwhile the Dutch prime minister has distanced his government from the cartoon contest.
Wilders “is not a member of the government. The competition is not a government initiative,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference on Friday 24 August.
Rutte questioned Wilders’ motive for organizing the contest, saying “his aim is not to have a debate about Islam. His aim is to be provocative.”