World News‎ > ‎

Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan says Muslims greatly pained by blasphemous film

posted 25 Sept 2012, 04:01 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Sept 2012, 04:02 ]

Pakistan's cricket legend Imran Khan compares Muslim revulsion at blasphemy towards the Prophet Mohammad to Jewish sensitivity towards mocking depictions of the Holocaust.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (SEPTEMBER 24, 2012) (REUTERS) - Pakistan's former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan called on Monday (September 24) for Muslim leaders to explain to the West the severe pain caused to Muslims by blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad or the Koran.

"There is a need for Muslim leadership to explain to the people of the Western countries that people of the Muslim world, it causes them the greatest pain when there is blasphemy against either our Prophet or there's some sort of desecration of the Koran, out holy book. On these two issues there's going to be rage in the Muslim world always because it causes the Muslims more pain than anything else," Khan said after a addressing a newsconference in the wake of violent rallies in the country to protest against an anti-Islam film posted online that ridicules the Prophet.

The amateurish video made in the United States, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a womaniser and a fool, has enraged Muslims in several countries.

Khan's party, the PTI, has put Google and its subsidiary YouTube on notice for not removing the blasphemous film, and has demanded the immediate removal of the video from YouTube, a statement issued by the party said on Sunday (September 23).

A spokesman for PTI said it was shameful that Google removed 10 films and 1700 video clips on the holocaust denial earlier this year, but was unwilling to remove the offensive anti-Islam film.

Imran Khan said people in the West should realize that disrespect towards Islam's Prophet infuriated Muslims just as much as any mockery of the holocaust hurt the Jews.

"Just like, and quite understandably, the Jewish people feel pain on the holocaust and there are laws where you do allow (anyone) to make fun of the holocaust or even do an interpretation. And quite rightly because it causes them pain. So in a human community shouldn't we worry about 1.3 billion people who suffer great pain each time our Prophet is ridiculed or we hear that the Koran has been torn up or been burnt?" Khan said.

Khan said protests against the anti-Islam film were essential but damage to public property was not in Pakistan's interest, and appealed to the people not to allow those elements to enter their rallies who resorted to violence.

Meanwhile, at least five hundred workers of two Islamist groups protested against the film in Lahore.

Chanting: "Down, American dog," the crowd set fire to an effigy of Terry Jones, the American pastor who is believed to be behind the production of the film.