Ties target in push-back in desecration of Quran

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 1, (Agencies): The Organization for Islamic Cooperation urged its member nations Monday to take action against countries that permit public burning or desecration of the Holy Quran, including the recalling of ambassadors. The Saudi Arabia-based group made the call in a statement following an emergency online meeting of its foreign ministers to discuss recent incidents in which the Islamic holy book was burned or otherwise defaced at officially permitted protests in Sweden and Denmark.

The organization’s 57 member countries should “consider taking any necessary decisions and actions that they deem appropriate in their relations” with Sweden, Denmark, and other countries that allow such incidents, including recalling their ambassadors, the statement said. It encouraged civil society organizations in the member states to work with counterparts in countries where the Quran has been burned or desecrated to file local lawsuits “before taking their cases to international judicial bodies, where applicable.” It also called for more efforts at outreach to combat Islamophobia, praising Kuwait for commissioning the printing of 100,000 copies of the Quran translated into Swedish for distribution in Sweden.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah participated on Monday in a virtual extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers on the repeated incidents of desecration of copies of the holy book of Quran, the latest of which took place in the Kingdom of Sweden and Denmark. The session took place in order to adopt procedures that guarantee to put an end to such reprehensible crimes, and to stop the recurrence of those acts that spread hatred, are inconsistent with all moral and human principles and values, and threaten global peace, security and harmony.

The foreign ministers meeting issued a number of pivotal and important decisions, including sending a delegation from the OIC and the Secretary-General office to the Commission of the European Union (EU) to convey a unified Islamic position on the crime of desecrating copies of the Holy Quran, under the pretext of freedom of expression.

The ministers also agreed to invite civil institutions and Islamic society institutions to resort to local courts in countries in which such crimes are carried out, to exhaust all litigation procedures, including file cases to international judicial bodies, and expedite the implementation of the “Action Plan to Combat Islamophobia” that was adopted by the foreign ministers of the Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In addition, the ministers approved to assign an OIC group in New York and Geneva to inform relevant entities of the United Nations regarding the ongoing violations against Islamic symbols, sanctities, and preserve the filing as official documents.

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