Proving yet again that violent intimidation works, Ban Ki-moon helps set the stage for coming UN actions against the freedom of speech. “Ban Ki-moon condemns desecration of Quran,” from Dawn, April 6:
UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned recent act of desecration of the Quran in Florida, stressing that “such actions cannot be condoned by any religion.”
In a meeting with a group of ambassadors representing Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to the United Nations, Ban said: “The recent burning of a copy of the Quran in the United States and similar actions anywhere else contradict the efforts of the United Nations to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions.”
The Secretary General termed the despicable act of burning of Islam’s Book as unacceptable and said he supported the UN High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, Jorge Sampaio, who noted in a statement on Sunday that the “desecration of the Qoran as of any text should be vehemently repudiated.”
The burning of the Quran sparked widespread protests in Afghanistan in recent days, and resulted in the killing of three UN staff members and four Nepalese guards at the UN compound in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday.
The Secretary-General thanked the ambassadors for their condemnation of and condolences for the attack on UN staff in Afghanistan. He said such an attack cannot be justified under any circumstances.
Ban and the OIC diplomats also discussed issues related to the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the Middle East peace process, as well as the evolving situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
The OIC Group of Ambassadors, comprising Tajikistan (OIC Chair), Morocco (OIC Coordinator for Human Rights), Pakistan, Iran and Egypt, Palestine and Permanent Observer of OIC, conveyed OIC”s strong condemnation of this act and requested the Secretary General to assume the leadership role to address the issue.
The OIC ambassadors also expressed their strong condemnation of the unfortunate killing of UN staff at Mazar-i-Sharif Afghanistan and offered their condolences to the bereaved families.
Voicing strong condemnation of the burning of the Quran, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, who was amongst the OIC ambassadors, met the Secretary General and expressed his profound concern at the increasing acts of Islamophobia and growing trend of intolerance.
He said the Quran is not merely a book; it was indeed the word of Allah, and it included scriptures from all faiths, including Christianity and Judaism. He expressed OIC”s grave concern that the despicable act had severely hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world….