ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan commented that the West has associated Islam with terrorism and Muslim countries need to collectively voice concerns against Islamophobia in the West. The comments came as the Prime Minister met the Ulema and Mashaikh Conference in Islamabad. 

He said that he has consistently raised the issue of Islamophobia on international forums, as he understood the West better than other Pakistani leaders. 

“The West conveniently associated Islam with terrorism but in the last 20 years, Muslim countries unfortunately, did not respond to this narrative,” he said. “Muslim leaders should have stood up to the West and made it clear that there is no link between Islam, or any other religion, with terrorism.”

He said Islamophobia was no longer restricted to the West as countries such as India are also targeting its Muslim population. Furthermore, he said that extremists exist in all societies, but terms such as “radical Islam” and “Islamic extremsim” had associated suicide bombings and terrorsism exclusively with Islam. In such circumstances, the Muslim world did not counter this slander, hence the problem exacerbated. 

“Before 9/11, suicide bombings were majorly carried out by the [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] in Sri Lanka, a group comprising Hindus, but nobody ever associated Hinduism with terrorism,” he said.

“When Muslim women living in the West go out of their houses wearing a headscarf, people taunt them,” the PM said. “Similarly, bearded Muslim men have to face derogatory remarks.”

The PM gave his assurance to the attendees that he will continue his fight against Islamophobia.


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