Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday wrote a letter to leaders of the Muslim countries for a collective action to counter the growing trend of Islamophobia. The prime minister shared on Twitter the image of the two-page letter, urging the leaders to act urgently against Islamophobia. “Today, we are confronting a growing concern and restlessness amongst our Ummah as they see the rising tide of Islamophobia and attacks, through ridicule and mockery on our beloved Prophet PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) in the Western world, especially Europe,” he wrote. Imran Khan said the recent statements at the leadership level and incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran were reflective of increasing Islamophobia, spreading in the European countries where sizeable Muslim populations resided. About the ‘covert and overt discrimination’ against the Muslims, he mentioned that in Europe, mosques were being closed and Muslim women being denied their right to wear clothing of their choice in public domain, whereas nuns and priests continued to display their religious clothing. “I believe the leadership in these countries, often acts out of lack of understanding of the intrinsic deep passion, love and devotion Muslims all over the world have for their Prophet PBUH and their divine book the Holy Quran,” he said. The prime minister said, “As a result, a dangerous cycle of actions and reactions are set in motion. Hurtful actions result in reactions from Muslims as they see their faith and their beloved Prophet (PBUH) targeted which results in further discriminatory actions by governments against Muslim populations in their states, resulting in marginalization of Muslims and the creating of space for radical, far-right groups to exploit the situation.” Imran Khan said marginalization was leading to radicalization and that vicious cycle continued to create increasing space for extremists on all sides. “In this environment, it is incumbent on us as leaders of the Muslim world to collectively take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism, which nurtures violence and even death. We, as leaders of Muslim polities, must take the initiative to call for an end to this cycle of hate and violence,” he said. Imran Khan urged upon the Muslim leaders to raise collective voice and explain to the leadership of the non-Muslim, especially Western states, the deep-seated reverence and love all Muslims feel for their divine book, the Holy Quran, and for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “It is time to reach out to ‘the other’ and end cycles of violence bred of ignorance and hate. We must explain to the Western world that value systems differ for different social and religious and ethnic groups in the world. He said for Europeans and the Jews, the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom, had led to many Western, especially European states, to criminalizing any act of criticism or questioning of the Holocaust. “We understand and respect that. However, there has to be an understanding by the Western world of giving a similar respect to Muslims, who have also seen their people killed in mass numbers from Bosnia to Iraq to Afghanistan, to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, but for whom the pain and hurt is greatest when we see attacks on our faith and our beloved Prophet PBUH through mockery, ridicule and even abuse,” he added. The prime minister said, “Blasphemy against any prophet of Islam, Christianity or Judaism was unacceptable in our faith.” “The time has come for the leaders of the Muslim world to take this message with clarity and unity to the rest of the world, especially the Western world so an end is put to Islamophobia and attacks on Islam and our Prophet PBUH,” he said. Imran Khan said the world could not continue on the hate spiral, which only benefited extremists’ agendas on all sides and resulted in polarized societies and violence. He said, “Our faith is guided by peace and tolerance as practiced in Riyasat-i-Madina and in accordance with Misaq-i-Madina (the Treaty concluded by our Prophet PBUH between Muslims and Jews). “It Is the responsibility of Muslims to inform the world of this spirit and core of the faith Islam,” the prime minister concluded. Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday called Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wherein they exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. Foreign Minister Qureshi extended felicitations to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu on 97th Republic Day of Turkey to be observed today (Thursday). The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in touch on issues of concern to the Muslim Ummah, including the rising Islamophobia.