Police officials and residents stand amid debris beside the torched Saint John Church in Jaranwala on the outskirts of Faisalabad on August 17, 2023. AFP
"The Holy Quran, which is subjected to attacks by certain criminal extremists amid the indifference of some governments, is the same scripture that enjoins the safeguarding of places of worship for Muslims and non-Muslims," said the most influential Sunni Islamic institution in the world in a statement on its social media accounts.
"Al-Azhar calls upon everyone to resort to reason and dialogue, and to refer back to the teachings of divine laws, which advocate acceptance of others and strive to promote tolerance and human brotherhood among all people, fostering a culture of peace among nations," the statement added.
Police in eastern Pakistan have apprehended 129 Muslims following a violent incident where an enraged mob, reportedly angered by an alleged Quran desecration, targeted 12 churches and approximately 20 homes belonging to the minority Christian community on Wednesday in the city of Jaranwala in the Faisalabad district.
Additionally, the police have detained two Christian men who are suspected of being involved in the defacement of the Quran.