13:11 GMT30 July 2021
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    Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote an open letter to the leaders of Muslim nations all over the world, highlighting the ‘discrimination’ faced by Muslims globally, referring to the closure of mosques in Europe, women being denied the right to wear a hijab and support for caricature depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammed in the West.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday urged leaders of Muslim nations to warn non-Muslim countries, especially in the West, against the rise of Islamophobia.

    The concern was raised by Khan in the backdrop of ongoing tension over the caricatures of the prophet Muhammed in France, deemed blasphemous by Muslim countries, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial comment calling Islam a religion “in crisis”.

    Taking to Twitter, Khan said Muslims around the world are confronting a growing concern and that there is a rising tide of Islamophobia and attacks on Islam.

    “In this environment, it is incumbent on us as leaders of the Muslim world to collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism, which nurtures violence and even death. We, as leaders of Muslim polities, must take the initiative to call for an end to this cycle of hate and violence,” he said in the letter.

    Khan said the leadership in Western and European countries lacks understanding regarding the reverence devout Muslims have for the “Prophet PBUH and their divine book the Holy Quran”.

    Khan also raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, a territory claimed both by India and Pakistan, to highlight his belief that Muslims have been persecuted across the globe.

    “The time has come for the leaders of the Muslim world to take this message with clarity and unity to the rest of the world, especially the Western world so an end is put to Islamophobia and attacks on Islam and our Prophet PBUH,” he said.

    Earlier, Khan stated that French President Macron has “attacked Islam” with his statements, warning that polarisation is the last thing the world currently needs.

    ​France is facing backlash from Muslim countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, and Kuwait, among others, ever since President Macron called Islam a religion “in crisis”. The remarks were made in the wake of the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered by a radicalised teenager after the latter (Paty) displayed some cartoons in class depicting the prophet Muhammad, considered blasphemous by Muslims.


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