New Delhi, September 3, 2018.
World Sufi Forum (WSF) has written a letter to the UN Secretary, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), European Union (EU) and other international bodies to introduce laws against disrespecting holy Prophets and sacred personalities. This letter has been written in the wake of the recent failed plan to draw contemptuous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
WSF urges the UN in line with the guidelines of UNHRC Resolution 16/18, to speak up against any ill-conceived plan to defame, denigrate or disrespect the holy personalities of any faith tradition.
In this letter, the WSF stresses that,
- World community combats negative stereotyping and stigmatization of any faith community and its leaders, and discrimination, incitement to violence as per the Resolution 16/18 adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2011.
- It has now become inevitable to make international laws to curb the contemptuous and disrespectful behavior towards the holy Prophets and all other sacred personalities in future.
- The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and European Union must discourage any future blasphemous act against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which leads to an environment of tension, discord and distress in the Muslim world.
- If the objective of global peace is to be achieved, the United Nations and all international bodies are duty-bound to enact clear and manifest laws making blasphemy of holy Prophets and other personages a punishable offence.
- This should not just be confined to formulation of laws but the necessary laws should be translated into action, in letter and spirit.
- Freedom of Expression should be redefined in order to protect the world from clash of civilizations. Any disrespectful or contemptuous behavior against the holy Prophets is cannot be called ‘freedom of expression’ by any legal imagination. Rather, it is violation of fundamental right to profess any religion and love and respect its holy personages.
- If the United Nations, European Union and other international organizations did not address this extremely sensitive issue, nothing would save the world from promoting religious extremism and plunging into another ‘clash of civilizations’.
- The peaceful and the true Prophet-loving Muslims have exercised utmost patience and restraint on a number of occasions when blasphemous, objectionable and immoral material was published against Prophet of Islam so that international peace could stay intact.\
- International community must curtail these factors which ultimately result in the emergence of extremist thoughts and groups. It would halt the efforts towards attaining global peace and would strengthen the extremists’ narratives and ulterior motives.
The World Sufi Forum urges the world community to curb such acts which only help the extremists. While we need more tolerance, respect for cultural and religious diversity and enhanced dialogue at all levels, we need to fight extremism in all forms and manifestations.
With Best Wishes.
Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi
Chairman, World Sufi Forum
Founder & President
All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board