The Catholic organisation led a peaceful rally in front of the Karachi Press Club. In Kristiansand, Norway, an anti-Muslim group burnt a copy of the Qurʼān. Pakistan’s religious leaders pray for world peace and harmony among faiths.
Karachi (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan slammed the profanation of a copy of the Qurʼān, Islam’s sacred text, in Norway, calling it an “inhuman act”.
In order to highlight the importance of interfaith dialogue and harmony, the NCJP held a peaceful demonstration at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday.
“We must respect all religions and expect others to respect ours,” said Card Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, and Fr Saleh Diego, vicar of the diocese and NCJP director.
The desecration of the Qurʼān took place at a protest by an Islamophobic organisation, Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), in Kristiansand on 19 November.
The NCJP condemns the incident and expresses its solidarity with the European country’s Muslims whose religious sentiments were violated. Muslim and Sikh religious leaders joined the rally organised by the Church.
Fr Diego calls on the Norwegian government to “prevent such actions” and "ensure those responsible are brought to justice as soon as possible”. In his view, the burning of the Qurʼān is a sign of “intolerance and an unsustainable act”.
For Ms Tabasum, a Christian lawyer, "the incident has hurt the feelings of Muslims. Norwegians are a peaceful people. Norway has a good reputation worldwide for respecting the rights of other religions. These new fundamentalists have destroyed it in the ace of the world. No one has the right to insult the religion of others.”
Allama Muhammad Ahsan Siddiqui, president of the Interfaith Commission for Peace and Harmony (ICPH), calls on the United Nations "to evaluate the episode for the sake of harmony and peace in the world.
“Such sacrilegious acts go against the concept of harmony between faiths and threaten the multicultural fabric of societies and brotherhood. This deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and Muslims around the world. "
Sardar Ramesh Singh, president of the Pakistani Sikh Council, slammed “this shameful act, which is against the teachings of my religion.”
Speaking “on behalf of the entire Hindu community Hindu,” Pandit Sham Lal Sharma called on the Norwegian government “to punish the guilty and restore peace".
At the end of the rally, NCJP coordinator Kashif Anthony said: “We thank all the participants and ask them to pray for peace in the world and in Pakistan. We must respect the religions of others and work for diversity in society and for the prosperity of our country.”