Imran Khan Photograph:( PTI )
Denying the Holocaust is an illegal offence in several European countries — including Germany and France — and offenders can be sent to prison
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Western governments should treat the people who insult the Prophet the same as those who deny the Holocaust, reported the Pakistani newspaper, Dawn.
Imran said insulting the Prophet hurts Muslims across the world.
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“We Muslims have the greatest love & respect for our Prophet,” he tweeted. “We cannot tolerate any such disrespect & abuse.”
Denying the Holocaust is an illegal offence in several European countries — including Germany and France — and offenders can be sent to prison.
Khan wants to see governments take an equally harsh position on those who blaspheme against the Prophet Muhammad.
"I ... call on Western governments who have outlawed any negative comment on the holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet," Khan tweeted.
I also call on Western govts who have outlawed any negative comment on the holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet PBUH.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 17, 2021
For the past week, riots have again engulfed Pakistan, with police officers killed and taken hostage, and the French embassy taking the "urgent" step of advising its citizens to leave the country.
Khan is now scrambling to keep order, months after launching a war of words with President Emmanuel Macron following the French leader's defence of the magazine Charlie Hebdo's right to republish images of Mohammed, an act deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.
When Macron openly backed the magazine, Khan took up a crusade, accusing the French leader of insulting Islam and using an address to the United Nations as an opportunity to lambast the West.
But rather than appease the religious right, Khan's grievance appears only to have encouraged the extremists, with the radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) -- the Movement at the Service of the Prophet, calling for the expulsion of the French ambassador.
"I think the prime minister has realised that appeasing the radical forces isn't an easy task because when you try to please them they demand more and more," security analyst Amir Rana told AFP.
"So far he has failed to maintain the balance."
(With inputs from agencies)