Pakistan PM urges Muslim-majority countries to boycott trade with the West

 Pakistan PM urges Muslim-majority countries to boycott trade with the West

​Pakistan’s prime minister is urging Muslim-majority countries to join together and launch a trade boycott of Western governments, in an effort to pressure them into criminalizing insults against the Prophet Muhammad.

“My way is to take heads of all Muslim countries into confidence. Together, we should ask Europe, the European Union and United Nations to stop hurting the feelings of 1.25 billion Muslims like they do not do in case of Jews,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said.

“We need to explain why this hurts us, when in the name of freedom of speech they insult the honor of the Prophet,” he said in comments made Monday, but reported by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn on Tuesday.​

He called on the Muslim countries to join together in demanding the change, and if the West ​fails to act, “we will launch a trade boycott on them and not buy their goods, that will have an effect.​”​

Supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party during a protest.
A protest in Pakistan against blasphemous comments about the Prophet Muhammad.
AFP via Getty Images

Khan said Western nations should show the same sensitivity to Muslims over blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad as they do to Jews over the Holocaust. 

Pakistani lawyers hold a a photo of France's President Emmanuel Macron during a protest.
Protesters hold up a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron, condemning his comments about a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
REHAN KHAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan group has been demanding that Pakistan expel the French ambassador over comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron on cartoons depicting the Prophet, which is considered blasphemous by some Muslims, Al-Jazeera reported.

Blasphemy is taken seriously in Pakistan, where some forms can bring a death sentence.