Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday wrote an open letter to the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking a ban on “Islamophobic” content on the social media giant, just as it has ‘banned questioning or criticizing the holocaust’ – warning of an increase in marginalization and polarization of the Muslims across the world.
Refering to the situation in France where Islam was being ‘militancy’, Khan in his letter published on Twitter cited that “growing Islamophobia” is encouraging extremism and violence across the world — especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.
“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” Khan said.
Facebook said this month it was updating its hate speech policy to ban any content that denied or distorted the Holocaust.
Rasing concerns, Khan wrote, “How will the French distinguish radical extremist Muslim citizens and the mainstream Muslim citizenry of Islam?”.
Earlier on Sunday, Khan said that French President Emmanuel Macron had “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ).
Khan’s comments came after Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher beheaded by a young man who wanted to avenge the use of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ) in a class on freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador of France to Pakistan was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey the deep concerns over the recent systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet Hazarat Muhammad Sallalh-o- Allaih Wasalam Khatam-un-Nabiyeen and desecration of the Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements.
According to a press release issued from the Foreign Office of Pakistan, the spokesperson of the office underscored that such “illegal and Islamophobic” acts hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world, including those in Pakistan.
Furthermore, such actions could not be justified in the name of freedom of expression.
It was further conveyed that Pakistan strongly condemned equating Islam with militancy, for narrow electoral and political gains.
Such provocative statements and actions were fanning inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation thereby imperilling efforts of peace and harmony among various segments of society, the statement, according to Radio Pakistan said.
It was emphasized that such actions and statements would further divide peoples and civilizations and undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony.
The spokesperson said at a time of rising racism, intolerance and populism, there is a need to promote harmony among peoples and communities instead of reinforcing stereotypes and making people alienated.