OIC chief, Pakistan’s foreign minister discuss India’s ‘Islamophobic actions’

KARACHI, Pakistan

The general secretary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) spoke by phone Sunday with Pakistan’s foreign minister on the situation arising from India’s “Islamophobic actions,” particularly the recent insulting remarks made by two spokespersons for India’s ruling party against Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

During the call, Hissein Brahim Taha expressed deep concern to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari over the remarks as well as the “unending plight of Indian Muslims. The OIC was sensitive to the growing trend of Islamophobia and the need to take collective action to combat it,” according to a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.

Bhutto Zardari, who also serves as the chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, observed that the derogatory remarks made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokespersons have deeply hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the globe.

“The BJP’s attempted clarification and the belated and perfunctory ‘disciplinary’ action against the responsible individuals could not assuage the pain and anguish they had caused to the Muslim world,” he added

Condemning the “high-handed treatment” by Indian authorities of the peaceful protests after last week’s Friday prayers over the remarks, Islamabad’s top diplomat urged the OIC and its member states to “step up their efforts for protecting the lives, dignity, property, culture, heritage and religious freedoms of Indian Muslims.”

He further urged the organization to take immediate cognizance of the “aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India.”

The two men cited resolutions and pronouncements of the UN and OIC on Islamophobia and decided to remain in contact to explore avenues of combatting Islamophobia in India and mitigating the sufferings of Indian Muslims, the statement concluded.

Earlier this month, BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma and spokesman Naveen Kumar Jindal, the BJP’s former Delhi media head, made insulting remarks about Prophet Muhammad, triggering a wave of condemnation at home and from the Islamic world.

New Delhi says the remarks do not reflect the views of the government, with the “relevant bodies” taking strong action against them.

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