|OIC calls for ban on attacks on religious symbols||
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called for the adoption of international laws to criminalize all forms of attacks against Islam and other religions.
On Friday, OIC foreign ministers issued a joint statement after holding a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, calling on governments around the world "to take all appropriate measures, including necessary legislation against these acts that lead to incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence,” AFP reported.
The foreign ministers of the 57-nation bloc issued the statement in response to a blasphemous movie produced in the United States and a French magazine’s publication of cartoons that insult Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
They condemned "intolerance, discrimination, profiling, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, religious hatred and violence against Muslims, as well as denigration of their religion" caused by the blasphemous materials.
"These Islamophobic acts stand in violation of the freedom of religion and belief, guaranteed by international human rights instruments, and have deeply offended" Muslims across the world, the statement added.
"We acknowledge the importance of freedom of expression, but at the same time stress the need to ensure that this freedom should be exercised by all with responsibility and in accordance with the relevant international human rights laws."
The OIC ministers called for "global awareness about the dangerous implications of incitement to religious hatred, discrimination and violence."
Anti-U.S. demonstrations, which began on September 11 over the blasphemous movie, continued on Saturday, with protesters chanting slogans against Washington, marching on U.S. embassies, and torching U.S. flags in several Asian cities.
Muslims in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, and several other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous movie over the past weeks. Protests were also held in Kashmir and the Gaza Strip.
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