In Pakistan, protests led by Islamic religious groups against the desecration of the Quran in Sweden have continued in recent weeks. On July 22, 2023, local leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Faqir Malik and Muhammad Shakeel Qasmi led a protest in Karachi where they told protesters that if Sweden had been given stern response in the beginning, they would not have dared to desecrate the Quran again and again.
In Islamabad, Hamza Majeed – a central leader of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) – condemned the blasphemous acts against the Quran, adding that the silence of the Muslim world over the desecration of the Quran is a matter of grave concern. On July 22, prominent Islamic religious scholar and president of Pakistan's federal board of Islamic seminaries Mufti Taqi Usmani called for the boycott of Swedish products. Mufti Usmani also demanded that Islamic countries immediately recall their ambassadors and cut diplomatic ties with Sweden.
In Sadiqabad city, Jamaat-e-Islami protester (top left) holds a poster board that reads: "Oh Muslim Ummah, wake up – now the time has come for jihad"
According to a report in the July 24 Issue of the Urdu daily Roznama Express, the emir of the religious-political party Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Sirajul Haq also the demanded immediate expulsion of the Swedish and Danish ambassadors to Islamabad, reminding the Pakistani government that the Quran had been desecrated under government patronage three times in the past month in Europe.
On July 25, leading Islamic religious scholar Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, who is special advisor on interfaith harmony to the prime minister of Pakistan, condemned the "blasphemy" against the Quran, and said: "Blasphemous acts against sacred books, personalities, and tenets are not an expression of free speech but are part of a Satanic agenda."
Following are excerpts from an article written by Pakistani columnist Shahnawaz Farooqi titled "The West's Enmity Against Islam" and an editorial titled "The United Nations: Resolution Against Desecration Of The Holy Quran" – both examine the issue and were published in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Jasarat, which is owned by Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan.
Following are excerpts from Shahnawaz Farooqi's article:
"The History Of Hostility Toward Islam In The West Is Not New; The Christians And Jews Had Taken Opposition To Islam From The Time Of The Prophet's Declaration Of Prophethood"
"The hatred toward Islam in the West was once a disease, but now the West has turned it into a spectacle. The West sometimes attacks the Prophet of Islam, sometimes paves the way for blasphemy against the Quran. Yesterday an attack on the Quran was happening in Denmark, and now the Quran has been set on fire in Sweden. The history of hostility toward Islam in the West is not new. The Christians and Jews have opposed Islam since the Prophet declared his prophethood.
"Sayyida Safiya was a Jew before converting to Islam. She says that when the Messenger [Muhammad] announced his prophethood, her father and uncle investigated whether the news of the announcement of prophethood was true or false. When they found out that the news of his prophethood was true, they both testified that this is the prophet whose arrival is predicted in the Torah.
A screenshot from Shahnawaz Farooqi's article
"According to Sayeda Safiya, her father also asked her uncle what he intended to do. Her uncle said 'We will oppose him till our last breath.' Before the coming of the Prophet, the Jews and Christians used to say that 'If we come to the time of the last prophet, we will not only believe in him but will also wage jihad against his enemies.' But when the Messenger's prophethood was announced, most of the Jews and Christians refused to believe in him.
"The people of the West have distorted their names out of hatred for Islam and Muslims. The name of Islam is Islam, but the people of the West called Islam 'Mohammedanism' and Muslims 'Mohammedans.' The people of the West also called Muslims as 'Hagarin' or 'Hajrai' with reference to Hajrah, the wife of Abraham (peace be upon him). They have also used these names in a derogatory manner because Hajrah, the wife of Abraham (peace be upon him), was initially the maidservant of Sarah, Abraham's first wife. However, Ismail (peace be upon him) was born from the womb of Hajrah.
"The lineage of the Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is indeed traced back to Ismail (peace be upon him). In this context, the people of the West addressed Muslims as 'Hajrai' because they actually wanted to say that Muslims are the children of a servant girl, and they have no historical importance."
"The Crusades Were Not An 'Invention' Of The Muslims, But Were Invented By The West, And Their Background Was The Hatred That Christendom Harbored For Islam And Muslims"
"Muslims mention the Crusades in their conversations and writings, but the vast majority of Muslims do not know the background of the Crusades. The Crusades were not an 'invention' of the Muslims, but were invented by the West, and their background was the hatred that Christendom harbored for Islam and Muslims.
"It was 1095, and Pope Urban II stood up in a church and said that 'Islam is a Satanic religion, and it has been impressed upon my heart that Christians have a duty to fight and wipe this Satanic religion and its believers from the face of the earth.' Pope Urban II called Islam a satanic religion; there was no historical or scholarly basis for it. Pope Urban did not say this in the light of the Torah or the Gospel. He did not say this in the light of any sayings of Sayyidna Moses or Sayyidna Jesus.
"This statement was not the result of the analysis of the Quran and Hadith [the traditions of Muhammad]. His words were not the result of a consideration of the Holy Prophet's life. This was only his mental innovation. He said, it has been inculcated in my heart that Islam is a Satanic religion.
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"Believers of all religions know that there is a 'divine inspiration' and a 'demonic inspiration'; and it requires a spiritual, moral, and cognitive ability to distinguish between them. What was inspired in Pope Urban II's heart was a hundred percent satanic inspiration. But he considered it divine inspiration. The main point to be made here is that the voice of the pope has not proven to be sound in the desert."
"In 1095, The Pope Declared Islam A Demonic Religion And Called For It And Its Followers To Be Exterminated, And In 1099, The Whole Of Europe Practically Gathered Under A Crusading Flag; And The Crusades Began And Continued For More Than Two Hundred Years"
"In 1095, the Pope declared Islam a demonic religion and called for it and its followers to be exterminated, and in 1099, the whole of Europe practically gathered under a crusading flag. And the Crusades began and continued for more than two hundred years.
"At the beginning of these wars, the Crusaders destroyed Jerusalem brick by brick. They massacred Muslims in Jerusalem on such a large scale that according to Western historians, there was so much blood in the streets of Jerusalem that it was difficult to drive horses. Then Sultan Saladin Ayyubi's forces besieged Bait-ul-Maqdis [Jerusalem].
Islamic scholar Maulana Tahir Ashrafi called for a diplomatic boycott of Sweden.
"There were 100,000 Christians in Bait-ul-Maqdis at that time. This was the best opportunity to avenge the massacre of Muslims in Bait-ul-Maqdis. But Sultan Saladin Ayyubi was the leader of Islam, so instead of massacring the Christians, he gave them the opportunity to leave Bait-ul-Maqdis by paying a small amount of money. Many Christians were so poor that they could not pay even a small sum of money to Saladin Ayyubi. So, their money was paid by Saladin Ayyubi and his loved ones.
"Even today, the great majority of Muslims do not know that the official position of the Christian Church regarding the Holy Prophet is that the Church considers the Holy Prophet to be a great figure in history. They count him among the geniuses of history, but the Church does not consider the Holy Prophet to be a prophet."
"After The Defeat Of Communism And The Dissolution Of The Soviet Union, The Anti-Islamism Of The West Suddenly Increased By Several Hundred Percent; 9/11 Played A Central Role In This Regard"
"The West claims that... the Messenger took some things from the Torah, he took some things from the Bible, and combined them to create the Quran. Importantly, this charge is made by Christendom, which has no original manuscript of the Gospels. The Western world's conception of Muhammad is actually derived from their conception of Jesus.
"Sayyidna Jesus never did jihad. The Holy Prophet fought jihad. Jesus did not establish any state. The Holy Prophet established the state of Medina. Sayyidna Jesus did not get married and lived a celibate life. On the contrary, the Prophet had eleven wives. When the Western world looks at the Prophet in this context, they see the prophet as very different from Jesus. Therefore, the Christian world refuses to accept him as a prophet. Rather, they become willing to insult the Holy Prophet. They call the Messenger of Allah a worldly person.
"Dante, the prominent poet of the West, had so much hatred for the Prophet that he depicted the Prophet in Hell in his poem Divine Comedy. The study of history shows that after the defeat of Communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the anti-Islamism of the West suddenly increased by several hundred percent. 9/11 played a central role in this regard. After 9/11, U.S. President George Bush announced the start of a 'Crusade' in response to 9/11 while addressing the American people.
"The term Crusade was used for the Crusades. So, it meant that the West has launched a new crusade against Islam and Muslims. Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy after George Bush, while addressing the press, said that Christian civilization is superior to Islamic civilization and that it would defeat Islamic civilization just as it defeated communism."
"In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI Openly Committed Blasphemy; He Repeated The Words Of The 14th-Century Christian King Manuel II About What Muhammad Brought That Is New And How Islam Was Spread By The Sword"
"After the Italian prime minister, then U.S. Attorney General [John] Ashcroft crossed the line. Addressing a conference in Washington D.C., he said the God of Christianity is superior to the God of Islam because the God of Christianity sacrificed his son Jesus for the salvation of humanity. On the contrary, the God of Islam asks Muslims to sacrifice their lives in the form of martyrdom to show his superiority.
Muslims in Pakistan protest Sweden by trampling the Swedish flag (image: Twitter)
"When the leaders of the West were making these statements, their official position was that they were going to fight against terrorism, but the reality was that they were going to fight Islam, the Prophet of Islam, and Muslims.
"It was for this reason that in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI openly committed blasphemy. He repeated the words of the 14th-century Christian King Manuel II about what Muhammad brought that is new and that Islam spread by the sword. It was such a big incident of blasphemy by the greatest personality of Christianity that it would have been a minor thing if the Third World War had started over it. But unfortunately, Muslims have entered into such a situation that [Islamist poet Muhammad] Iqbal's poem completely applies to them: Dark is the fire of extinguished love / Not Muslims, they are a pile of ashes.
"The situation of Muslims, especially the kings, political leaders, and military generals of the Muslim world, is that they have failed miserably in defending the freedom and sovereignty of Muslims, even the sanctity of the Holy Prophet and the Quran. You see how the military and political establishment [in Pakistan] has become a firestorm against the events of May 9 [against the protesters belonging to former Prime Minister Imran Khan's political party], but we have miserably failed to expel even the ambassadors of Denmark and Sweden for insulting the Quran and the Holy Prophet."
"The Open Opposition From The U.S. And The UK Toward This Resolution [Condemning The Desecration Of Quran In Sweden] Indicates That The Conceptions Of Human Rights And Freedom Of Expression Are Tools To Suppress Their Imperialistic Ambitions And Control Nations"
Following are excerpts from the editorial:
"The Human Rights Council, a subsidiary of the United Nations in Geneva, passed a resolution condemning the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden. The Human Rights Council has accepted this resolution despite the opposition of the United States and the European Union. The resolution was presented by Pakistan with the support of the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation], while the United States and Europe opposed the agreement as it was perceived to be contradictory to the concepts of human rights and freedom of expression.
"However, the Human Rights Council accepted the incident as an abuse of freedom of expression, and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan addressed the meeting online. The United Nations Human Rights Council consists of 47 members, of which 28 members voted in favor and 12 against, in which the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union were in the lead, while seven members were absent.
A screenshot of the editorial in Roznama Jasarat
"The absence of seven members is also important from the point of view that by not voting against the resolution, they did not recognize the desecration of the Quran as the right to freedom of expression. With the approval of this resolution, the feeling can be solidified at the global level that dirty actions based on religious hatred can destroy world peace. In the approval of this resolution, it is also worth mentioning that the non-Muslim countries who have voted in favor of Pakistan and the OIC resolution include China and India.
"The open opposition from the United States and the United Kingdom toward this resolution indicates that the conceptions of human rights and freedom of expression are tools to suppress their imperialistic ambitions and control nations. The 300 years of imperialistic history of America and Europe are filled with atrocities, but they continue their movement as instruments of Satan against the true religion [of Islam].
"The government of Pakistan and the OIC should be praised for taking this step, but there is a need to address this issue with more strength within the global fraternity. There are many resolutions regarding Kashmir and Palestine, but no action is taken. Islamic countries will have to take coercive measures against such countries. Without it, these countries will not refrain from causing harm and disturbance."
 Roznama Baad-e-Shimal (Pakistan), July 23, 2023.
 Roznama Sada-e-Chinar (Pakistan), July 23, 2023.
 Roznama Islam (Pakistan), July 23, 2023.
 Roznama Islam (Pakistan), July 23, 2023.
 Roznama Express (Pakistan), July 24, 2023.
 Roznama Dunya (Pakistan), July 26, 2023.
 Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan), July 14, 2023.
 On September 16, 2001, then President George W. Bush said in remarks on the South Lawn: "This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient." He thereafter refrained from using the term. Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010916-2.html, September 16, 2001.
 Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan), July 14, 2023.