Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobic messaging and posts containing "hate against Islam" on Facebook.
In a letter published on Sunday, Khan pointed out that he appreciated Zuckerberg's "step to rightly ban any posting that criticizes or questions the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews in Germany and across Europe as Nazis spread across Europe".
The Pakistani PM added that "today we are seeing a similar pogrom against Muslims in different parts of the world", claiming that "in some states, Muslims are being denied their citizenship rights and their democratic personal choices, from dress to worship".
Khan chose two states to exemplify his observations - India and France.
"In India, anti-Muslim laws and measures such as CAA and NRC, as well as targeted killings of Muslims and blaming Muslims for the coronavirus are reflective of the abominable phenomenon of Islamophobia. In France, Islam has been associated with terrorism and publication of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been allowed. This will lead to further polarization and marginalization of Muslims in France. How will the French distinguish between radical extremist Muslim citizens and the mainstream Muslim citizenry of Islam? We have seen how marginalization inevitably leads to extremism – something the world does not need,” the Pakistan prime minister wrote.
Khan then turned to the bilateral Pakistani-Indian issues of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The message of hate must be banned in total – one cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others. Nor should the world have to wait for a pogrom against Muslims, which is ongoing in countries like India and in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to be completed before Islamophobia is banned. This in itself is reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalization.”
My letter to CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg to ban Islamophobia just as Facebook has banned questioning or criticising the holocaust. pic.twitter.com/mCMnz9kxcj— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2020
The dispute over Kashmir dates back to 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence from British rule. Occasional clashes and diplomatic bravado have since been a regular occurrence, but tensions escalated in August when New Delhi annulled Kashmir's special autonomous status and placed it under the direct control of the Indian government.