'Quran Sanctity Day': The Pakistani Government's Fight Against Desecration

In response to an incident in Sweden where an Iraqi refugee desecrated the Quran, the Pakistani government declared July 7th as Yaum-i-Taqaddus-i-Quran, or the day for the protection of the Quran’s sanctity, to convey their outrage over the issue.

The Pakistani Parliament also held a joint session on July 6th to express their shock and grief over this latest Quran-burning incident in Sweden through the country’s highest representative body. The legislature also planned to adopt a resolution condemning the burning of the Quran.

These decisions were made after the federal cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, met to discuss the issue. The government also decided to hold rallies that would be held across Pakistan on July 7th to protest the incident that occurred in Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, in June.

The prime minister appealed to everyone in Pakistan, including all political parties, to participate in the demonstrations to send a “message of unity to mischievous minds.

Prime Minister Sharif, who also serves as head of the ruling Nawaz wing of the Pakistan Muslim League, instructed his political party to hold protests in the entire country on July 7th.

The sanctity of the Holy Quran is an integral part of our faith, and all Muslims are united in grief” over the sacrilege in Sweden, according to Prime Minister Sharif.

He also claimed that certain elements misguide individuals to execute their nefarious agenda of fanning and spreading Islamophobia.

Nations and leaders believing in peace and coexistence should try to contain the violent forces out to sow hatred against Muslims,” Pakistan’s prime minister said.

The violent mindset targeting religions, sacred personalities, beliefs, and ideologies are enemies of peace,” he added.

Lastly, Prime Minister Sharif also called upon forces that value inter-faith peace and dialogue to play their role in getting rid of mischief-makers.

The UN Human Rights Council also held an urgent session at Pakistan’s request to address the desecration of the Quran in Sweden. Pakistan and other countries called for a discussion of “the alarming rise in pre-meditated and public acts of religious hatred,” as shown by the recent Quran burning in Sweden and other countries.

The Geneva-based, 47-member council is currently in its second session that will run on July 14th and will change its agenda to hold a debate on the issue upon Pakistan’s request.

“The urgent debate will most likely be convened this week at a date and time to be determined by the bureau of the Human Rights Council that is meeting today,” Pascal Sim, the Public Information Officer at the UN Human Rights Council, told reporters.

Pakistan’s ambassador in Geneva, Khalil Hashmi, wrote to the president of the Human Rights Council on behalf of the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who also participate in the council, to request an urgent discussion on the issue, adding that the “provocative acts” last June in Sweden were rejected and condemned worldwide.

These unabated incidents demand immediate action by the Human Rights Council,” Hashmi said.

While recognizing freedom of speech and expression, the OIC has demanded action to prevent acts of burning the Quran from happening and the development of legal deterrence measures.

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