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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Desecration of the Holy Qur'an a blatant violation of American religious liberty law: Prof. Tahir Mahmood

The Milli Gazette Online

Commenting on the reported desecration of the Holy Qur'an in Guantanamo Bay prison, legal expert and member of the newly constituted national commission for religious and linguistic minorities, Prof. Tahir Mahmood, said that "if such an incident has in fact happened it has to be seen as a blatant violation of not only the international human rights laws but also of the law of the United States itself".

Speaking to the media in Delhi, Prof. Mahmood said that the 'declaration on elimination of all kinds of religious intolerance and discrimination' promulgated by the UN in 1981 does not allow such a deplorable action in any situation and for any purpose". 

Referring to the 'International Religious Liberty Act' enacted in the US in 1998, Prof. Mahmood stated that this law had empowered the American government to regularly survey the religious freedom situation in all countries and to recommend corrective measures for nations not adhering to the international legal norms in this respect. "The annual reports being regularly submitted under this law severely indict the defaulting countries. In view of this, if the American government does not take a serious view of the reported event of Guantanamo Bay, the world will be justified in giving it a 'physician cure thyself' advice," Prof. Mahmood added.

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