ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christians in Pakistan: caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed and offenses against religions sow hatred in the world

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 blasphemy   religious minorities   islam   religion   civil society   politics  

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "Disseminating caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, creates disharmony among nations, countries and religions in the world and has a negative influence on world peace". This is what Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, points out in message sent to Agenzia Fides, referring to the international crisis caused by the reissue of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in France. Cardinal Coutts, whose episcopal motto is "Harmony" further states: "We deplore and are saddened by the cartoons spread by a magazine based in Paris. These offensive acts are contrary to freedom of expression as they not only hurt the feelings of Muslims, but also of people of other religions". Christians in Pakistan says the Cardinal, want to express their unity with the Muslims of Pakistan and the world, as a sign of solidarity, invoking respect for all religions and its characters and symbols and strongly condemn any terrorist act carried out in the name of religion.
Fr. Saleh Diego, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Karachi and Director of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, agrees and asks the French authorities "to intervene in order to avoid such actions which undermine the unity and peace among people of different religions".
Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, at the head of the Catholic community of Lahore, said: "This is sad for us. We are united with our Muslim brothers and are united with the victims of terrorism in Europe. We appeal to the European Union, the United Nations, to draw up the laws according to which no country should be allowed to dishonor the Prophet or the Holy Book of any religion: this sows hatred among humanity and affects love, brotherhood and unity among people of different religions, fueling fanaticism and terrorism, which is always unjustified".
Capuchin friar Fr. Abid Habib OFM Cap, who lives in Lahore, speaking to Fides explained: "We deplore the act of French President Emmanuel Macron for having given permission for the offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to be reissued. We suggest our Muslim brothers and sisters in Europe not to react with violence but to do only what is beneficial for all. It is important to dialogue and seek to eliminate Islamophobia through mutual understanding".
Christians in Pakistan throughout Pakistan, he concludes, condemn any blasphemous and sacrilegious act against religions which undermines world peace and the spirit of brotherhood among peoples by blowing the fire of terrorist violence. (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/11/2020)