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India seconds Pakistan's resolution at UN panel denouncing Quran burning in Sweden Quran

India seconds Pakistan's resolution at UN panel denouncing Quran burning in Sweden

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Jul 2023, 11:01 pm

The United Nations' highest human rights body has passed a resolution urging countries to take further actions to prevent religious hatred, following incidents of Quran burnings in Europe, AP reported.

Despite objections from Western nations concerned about potential restrictions on freedom of expression, the measure was overwhelmingly approved, said the report.

The vote, with 28 in favor, 12 against, and 7 abstentions, received applause in the large chamber of the Human Rights Council, said the report.

The resolution was initiated by Pakistan and Palestine and garnered support from numerous developing countries in Africa, as well as China, India, and several Middle Eastern nations.

The resolution was taken up following the recent Quran burnings in parts of Europe, and among other things, appeals to the member countries to take steps to “prevent and prosecute acts and advocacy of religious hatred that constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

According to the report, after the conclusion of the voting, Pakistan’s Ambassador Khalil Hashmi stressed that the measure “does not seek to curtail the right to free speech,” but tries to strike a “prudent balance” between it and “special duties and responsibilities.”

“The opposition of a few in the room has emanated from their unwillingness to condemn the public desecration of the Holy Quran or any other religious book,” Hashmi was quoted as saying by AP. “They lack the political, legal, and moral courage to condemn this act, and it was the minimum that the council could have expected from them.”

The U.S. ambassador to the council Michele Taylor said in a statement, a day earlier, that the United States “strongly condemns the acts that have necessitated today’s discussion, including desecration of the Holy Quran on June 28 — referring to an incident in Sweden at elicited strong protest in some Muslim countries.

After the vote, Taylor expressed that she was extremely sad that the council could not reach a consensus “in condemning what we all agree are deplorable acts of anti-Muslim hatred, while also respecting freedom of expression,” the report said.

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