ISLAMABAD, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan strongly condemned the ripping of a copy of the Quran in the Netherlands, calling it a "despicable act of desecration" and a blatant provocative Islamophobic hate crime committed under the guise of freedom of expression.
Such offensive acts deeply hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world and could create disharmony among the international community, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pakistan has always maintained that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities, the statement said.
"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," it added.
The international community should raise its collective voice against Islamophobia and work together to promote inter-faith harmony and peaceful coexistence, according to the ministry.
Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the Pegida movement in the Netherlands, tore up a copy of the Quran in front of the Dutch parliament in the Hague on Sunday. The action has prompted criticism from some Islamic countries and a number of Muslim communities in Europe. ■