NEW DELHI, Jan 25 (Bernama) -- Pakistan on Wednesday asked the Netherlands to prevent "hateful acts" of Islamophobia after an extremist Dutch politician desecrated a copy of the Quran.
Edwin Wagensveld, Dutch leader of the extremist Pegida group, tore pages out of the Quran near the Dutch parliament in The Hague and stomped on them on Sunday.
"It is undoubtedly a provocative Islamophobic hate crime committed under the guise of freedom of expression," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
"We also believe that it is the responsibility of national governments and the international community at large to prevent such vile acts, which are perpetrated with the ulterior motive to provoke and incite religious hatred and violence," the ministry said.
"Pakistan's concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in the Netherlands. We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims around the world and take steps to prevent such hateful and Islamophobic acts," it added.
The Dutch provocation followed Saturday's burning of a copy of the holy book outside the Turkish Embassy in the Swedish capital Stockholm by Danish anti-Islam extremist Rasmus Paludan.
Egypt's top Islamic institution Al Azhar has called for a trade boycott of Swedish and Dutch products, while members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have condemned the provocative acts in the two European countries.
"The international community should raise its collective voice against Islamophobia and work together to promote inter-faith harmony and peaceful coexistence. That was the spirit behind the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 to mark 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia," the Pakistan foreign ministry statement noted.
The OIC on Tuesday expressed concern over "the continued manifestation of religious intolerance and hatred against Muslims in many parts of the world" and urged the governments of the countries concerned to take measures to address Islamophobia.