Kingdom Blasts Sacrilegious Cartoons

Saudi Arabia yesterday denounced European newspapers that published cartoons denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and said such spiteful actions would spread hatred and animosity among people of different faiths.

Kingdom Blasts Sacrilegious Cartoons

"The Council of Ministers expressed the Kingdom's condemnation of what is published by certain European newspapers defiling the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)," the Saudi Press Agency said. The Cabinet was referring to the caricatures published by some Danish and Norwegian dailies.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Regent Prince Sultan at Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, expressed anguish and surprise at the inadequate reaction from governments and people in those countries against such vilifications, despite their economic, political and cultural relations with the Islamic world.

In a similar statement, the Shoura Council also condemned the attacks of Danish and Norwegian newspapers on the Prophet and said such publications would unleash communal hatred.

"The acrimonious cartoons on the Prophet hurt the feelings of Muslims across the world and gave false information about a great personality, who was selected by God to become His last messenger," the statement said.

The 150-member Shoura Council urged the Western world to read the history of the Prophet and learn about his noble qualities, morals and ideals. It said the Prophet opposed extremism and corruption.

"Those who publish such cartoons do not know the consequences; they will spread hatred and division and create animosity between communities and religions," the Shoura said.

The statement rejected publication of such obnoxious cartoons in the name of freedom of expression. "All constitutions and laws in the world call for the respect of Prophets and divine religions," it added.

Shoura Council Chairman Dr. Saleh Bin-Humaid urged intellectuals and peace-loving people of the world to stop such vilifications against the Prophet of Islam and punish its perpetrators.

The Shoura urged the Danish and Norwegian parliaments to stand against the anti-Islam campaigns in their countries.

On Sept. 30, 2005, Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper ran an article about freedom of speech centering on the issue that artists were unwilling to illustrate the Prophet without remaining anonymous for fear of extremist attacks. The paper accompanied the article with 12 depictions of Prophet Muhammad by various Danish illustrators.

The 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Commission and many international Islamic organizations have condemned the printing of the provocative cartoons.

The Cabinet meeting expressed hope that the current four-nation Asian tour of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah would help strengthen relations with these countries.

The Cabinet meeting, which is first after Haj, commended the various government and private organizations for their efforts in the successful organization of the annual event. It expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of several pilgrims in two accidents: a stampede in Mina and a building collapse in Makkah.

The Cabinet conveyed its condolences to the Kuwaiti government and people on the death of Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The regent briefed the Cabinet on the outcome of King Abdullah's talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Syrian President Bashar Assad and US Vice President Dick Cheney.

The meeting passed a law that prevents non-Saudis from handling accommodation of pilgrims. According to the new law, foreign Haj missions and travel agents should contact only Saudis to arrange accommodation for their pilgrims. It also bans non-Saudis from renting buildings for the purpose.

The Cabinet approved new regulations allowing transportation of schoolgirls by private buses. It, however, insisted that the service should be comfortable and affordable to parents and the annual fee should not exceed SR1,700. Drivers of buses providing such services should be Saudis. Once the program was found successful, it would be implemented for the transportation of female college students and teachers as well as boy students after a year.

Referring to the Royal Decree increasing the maximum social security allocations to families, the Cabinet said a single-member family will get SR9,400 annually, while a family with two members will get SR12,500, three members SR15,600, four members SR18,700, five members SR21,800, six members SR24,900 and seven members SR28,000. The new allocations will be effective from Jan. 31, 2006.

The meeting approved new principles to activate joint economic commissions with the participation of Saudi businessmen. It also endorsed a national strategy for forests.

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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