Muslim-West Dignitaries to Defuse Cartoon Crisis

A cohort of 100 Muslim and Western dignitaries will be working on defusing the cartoon crisis sparked by the publication of drawings mocking Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him), as EU foreign policy chief Javier arrived in the region Monday,

Muslim-West Dignitaries to Defuse Cartoon Crisis

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), told CNN on Sunday, February 12, that the 100-strong group will look into ways to boost understanding between Europe and the Muslim world.

The group, comprising 50 Muslim figures and 50 Western dignitaries, will be co-chaired by Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi ambassador to the US, and Lord Kerry, former archbishop of Canterbury.

Twelve cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, first published last September by Denmark's mass-circulation Jyllands-Posten and then reprinted by several European dailies, have caused an outcry in the Muslim world.

The drawings included portrayals of the Prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban and showed him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by shrouded women.

An opinion poll on Sunday showed that more than half of Danes understand the Muslim anger over the drawings, considered blasphemous under Islam.

The Gallup survey in Denmark's Berlingske Tidende showed that 56 percent of the 1,003 Danes polled understood that Muslims were offended by the cartoons.

Some 49 percent of respondents agreed it was wrong of Jyllands-Posten to publish the drawings, while 43 percent supported the daily's decision.

Constructive Dialogue

Schwab refuted the argument used by newspapers to justify the cartoons publication on the grounds of freedom of expression.

He stressed that freedom of expression should be exercised without insulting others.

The European Commission has recently said European media organizations should consider a media code of conduct in an effort to avoid a repeat of violent protests over the caricatures.

The drawings have triggered a massive boycott of Danish products across the Muslim world.

But Schwab called for constructive dialogue to defuse tension and promote reconciliation to avoid a clash of civilizations.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana embarked Monday, February 13, on a tour of the Middle East to try to calm anger over the cartoons crisis.

"Be sure we are going to do our utmost for this not to happen again, because we need each other ... I don't think honestly it will happen again," he told reporters in Saudi Arabia.

He was speaking after talks in Jeddah with the head of the OIC chief.

Solana has said he hopes to turn the tide in a furore over the cartoons during his Middle East visit. He was due to meet King Abdullah in the capital Riyadh, before heading to Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.

Int'l Pledge

"Be sure we are going to do our utmost for this not to happen again, because we need each other," Solana said.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana embarked Monday, February 13, on a multi-leg Arab tour in a new bid to defuse the cartoons crisis.

"Be sure we are going to do our utmost for this not to happen again, because we need each other," Solana told reporters after talks in Jeddah with the Organization of the Islamic Conference Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

"I don't think honestly it will happen again," he stressed.

Solana has said he hopes to turn the tide in a furor over the cartoons during his Middle East visit.

He was due to meet King Abdullah in the capital Riyadh, before heading to Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.

Ihsanoglu told CNN Sunday that the Muslim body was seeking to secure an international pledge to avoid a repeat of such publications.

Muslim dignitaries and organizations have called for the enactment of an international law banning the publication of any insults to religious symbols and values.

The OIC and the Arab League, the Muslim world's two main political bodies, are seeking a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions following the publication of provocative cartoons.

 

Source: Islamonline.net

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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