OKARA   -  University of Okara, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Zakar urged the European academia to step up for countering Islamophobia.   In a letter to the reactors of prominent French and German universities, the UoO VC stressed the need for stopping spreading hatred in the name of freedom of expression, said a spokesperson for the university. The right to practice religion and respect for religious symbols is the core constitutional value of almost all European countries. Insulting other religions and religious figures is unconstitutional and discourteous and nobody expects such behavior from a civilized society, said the letter. Dr Zakir, whose PhD is from Germany and he had been former Humboldt Professor in a German University, reached out to the German and French academia in a bid to lobby them to educate general public about the grave negative cultural consequences of blasphemous sketches.  The VC, in his letter, said: “Such practice not only hurt feelings of two billion Muslims but also spread inter religious hatred and intolerance among the nations, adding the present globalized world cannot afford conflict and violence in the name of religion.  The VC argued that the world needed collective efforts against the existential threats such as global warming, water scarcity, infectious diseases, poverty and hunger, and in these circumstances, spreading the feelings of Islamophobia or insulting the revered Islamic symbols is no service to humanity or international peace.  Dr Zakar warned that publication and dissemination of such caricatures could deepen the division in European societies and could fuel hatred and violence worldwide.