Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi urged France on Saturday to desist from entrenching “discriminatory attitudes” against Muslims into laws aimed at fighting so-called extremism, Anadolu Agency reports.
Paris needs to bring people together instead of stamping Islam in a certain manner to create “disharmony and bias,” said Alvi, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.
Alvi was referring to a controversial bill introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron last year to fight so-called “Islamist separatism.”
Addressing a seminar on religious freedom and minorities’ rights in Islamabad, he said Pakistan communicated to the West that blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad in the name of so-called freedom of expression is considered an insult to the entire Muslim community.
The bill is being criticized because it targets the Muslim community and imposes restrictions on almost every aspect of their lives.
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It provides for intervening in mosques and associations responsible for the administration of mosques, as well as controlling the finances of associations and non-governmental organizations belonging to Muslims.
It restricts the education choices of the Muslim community by preventing families from giving children home education.
The bill also prohibits patients from choosing doctors based on gender for religious or other reasons and makes compulsory “secularism education” for all public officials.