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India Condemns And Strongly Rejects Desecration Of Quran, Votes In Favour Of Pakistan's Resolution At UNHRC

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 13, 2023, 11:16 AM | Updated 11:16 AM IST

Quran Burning In Sweden
Quran Burning In Sweden

India cast its vote in favor of a draft resolution presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), condemning and strongly rejecting recent acts of desecration of the Quran.

The resolution titled 'Countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence' was adopted by the 47-member council in Geneva. Out of the voting members, 28 voted in favor, 7 abstained, and 12 voted against.

India emphasized the need to hold the perpetrators accountable in accordance with international human rights law obligations.

Countries that voted in favor of the resolution include Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Ukraine, and the UAE. Nations voting against the resolution include Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the UK, and the US.

The resolution, brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and the State of Palestine, called upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures of the Human Rights Council to denounce religious hatred and acts of desecration of sacred books that incite discrimination, hostility, or violence.

It also urged states to assess their national laws, policies, and law enforcement frameworks to identify gaps hindering the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.

Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the debate surrounding the resolution was sparked by recent incidents of Quran burning, which deeply affects over a billion people who hold the Quran as the core of their faith.

He emphasized that such incidents are manufactured to incite contempt, anger, and division among people, transforming differences into hatred and potentially violence.

Turk highlighted the weaponization of religious differences for political gain in many societies and urged against falling into the trap set by those seeking to divide people for their own agenda.

The burning of the Quran by an Iraqi Christian immigrant in Stockholm, supported by the Swedish government, during the festival of Eid al-Adha last month, sparked widespread anger and condemnation across the Islamic world.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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