In the aftermath of the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden, the United Nations Human Rights Council will debate a contentious drafting proposal on religious intolerance in Geneva today.
The burning of the Quran in Stockholm last month was defined as an “offensive, disrespectful, and a clear act of provocation” that incites hatred and constitutes a human rights violation in a draught resolution offered by Pakistan on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Nineteen OIC member countries are also voting members of the 47-member council, and other countries, including China, have supported their draught resolution.
It is to remember that two men burned a Quran outside Stockholm’s largest mosque as most Muslims around the world were celebrating Eidul Adha, with approval from a Swedish court.
Pakistan strongly denounced the heinous act of burning the Holy Quran, stating that such deliberate incitement to prejudice, intolerance, and violence cannot be justified under the guise of free expression and protest.
States are required by international law to prohibit any advocacy of religious hatred that leads to the incitement of violence. The frequency of such Islamophobic incidents in the West in recent months brings into serious question the legal structure that allows such hate-driven behavior.