Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Photo: AFP

The brutal murder of a teacher by an radicalized teen has sparked a massive global debate. French history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-year-old soon after he had shared caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class. While shown in an academic context, the move had reportedly prompted outrage among some Muslim parents. The killer was subsequently shot dead by police.

But while the incident has drawn widespread condemnation, it is the French government's subsequent comments about not prohibiting religious satire, and President Emmanuel Macron's comments that Paty had been killed "because Islamists want our future" that have made several nations including Pakistan see red.

Since then, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called Macron's comments unfortunate, and even written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking a ban on Islamophobic content on the social networking site.

"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. Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens," Khan had tweeted.

But while Imran Khan has been a vocal critic of what he called an "attack on Islam", closer to home, atrocities against Uighur Muslims in China appear to have gone unnoticed. Amid the furore created by his recent comments, an old clip from an interview has surfaced.

Watermarked with the Financial Times logo, the excerpt is from a March 2019 interview when Khan has said that he "didn't know much about" China's incarceration of Uighurs. When the interviewer pointed out that some time earlier, several Pakistani businessmen had made headlines after travelling to China to petition for the release of their wives, Khan said that he had not heard about that.

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Free Press Journal