Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking a ban on Islamophobic content on the site, warning that it results in polarisation and marginalisation of Muslims.
In the letter, shared by the Pakistani government on Twitter, Imran Khan said that “growing Islamophobia” and marginalisation of Muslims is encouraging extremism and violence across the world – especially through social media platforms such as Facebook.
“I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust,” Khan wrote.
Earlier this month, Facebook said it was updating its earlier policy and will now ban any content that denied or distorted the Holocaust.
“One can not send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others,” Khan said, adding that this was “reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalisation”.
Khan in his letter made reference to the situation in France, where, President Emmanuel Macron has been encouraging the display of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad which offends Muslims.
He also referred in length to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in India as examples of growing Islamophobia across the world.
Facebook did not immediately reply request for comment on Khan’s letter.
Earlier on Sunday, Khan said that French President Emmanuel Macron had “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of cartoons.
The debate over France’s policies toward Muslims was given new impetus by the murder this month in France of a teacher who showed his class a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Khan’s comments follow statements Macron declaration of war on “Islamist separatism”, which he believes is taking over some Muslim communities in France.
In a series of tweets, Khan said the remark would sow division.
“This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation,” Khan wrote.
“It is unfortunate that he has chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists.”
Macron already sparked controversy earlier this month when he said: “Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world”.
With inputs from Reuters