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Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday called for effective measures to counter hate speech and Islamphobia, besides stressing upon the importance of addressing both the drivers and consequences of these phenomena. He was expressing his views in a high level roundtable discussion on 'Countering Hate Speech' co-hosted by Pakistan and Turkey, PM office media wing in a press release said.

Noting the growing incidents of discrimination and violence based on religion and belief, the PM underscored that the religion had nothing to do with terrorism. He also cautioned against attempts to denigrate the revered personalities and scriptures cloaked in the right to freedom of expression and opinion.

The world must understand Muslim's sensitivities for Islam and the reverence for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), he emphasized. The PM observed that marginalisation of any community could lead to its radicalization. He said there was a need for promoting greater understanding and tolerance among and between the communities across the world.

The United Nations provided an important platform to evolve an informed discourse on countering hate speech, he opined. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his remarks, said the Muslims were the most vulnerable community to hate speech across the world. The Muslims were being lynched for eating beef in India whereas the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir had been turned into an open prison, he said, warning that they feared bloodshed in the Occupied Kashmir.

President Erdogan termed the hate speech as the worst crimes against humanity. On the occasion, he also expressed his condolences over the tragic loss of lives in earthquake hit areas of Pakistan.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2019

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