Islam, perhaps the most fragile and easily offended religion on Earth, is having its thin skin protected by the prime minister of Pakistan, who says Muslims should be treated with the same sensitivity as Jews and the Holocaust.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed lobbying Western nations, the EU and UN to adopt anti-blasphemy laws, with a warning of a trade boycott if they do not do so. The 68-year-old leader said this will be “effective” in getting the West to “stop hurting the feelings” of Muslims across the world with their defense of freedom of speech laws, reports the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Khan has said insulting Islam’s prophet should be regarded in the same way as questioning the Holocaust, which is a crime in some European states.
“My way is to take heads of all Muslim countries into confidence,” Khan said in an address on April 26. “Together we should ask Europe, the European Union and United Nations to stop hurting the feelings of 1.25 billion Muslims like they do not do in [the] case of Jews.”
“I want the Muslim countries to devise a joint line of action over the blasphemy issue with a warning of trade boycott of countries where such incidents will happen,” Khan explained. He said Pakistan’s foreign minister has already discussed the plan with four foreign ministers of Muslim-majority countries.
Former British foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind told MailOnline of the proposed ban: “That is a pretty foolish decision. It is not countries that insult the Prophet Mohammed; it’s individual citizens. However distasteful that might be, as in Pakistan it is the law of the United Kingdom or any other country to determine whether they are allowed to do that or not,” Rifkind said.
He said it should be for the courts to decide whether insulting the Prophet violates the law. “We already have laws about hate crimes, which apply regardless of a particular religion. I do not think there should be a separate law for one religion.”