In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR SEEKS MEETING WITH DANISH AMBASSADOR OVER OFFENSIVE CARTOONS
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/31/2006) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said it is seeking meetings with the Danish and Norwegian ambassadors to the United States to discuss the publication of cartoons in those nations that Muslims worldwide view as “intentionally insulting” to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
The cartoons, one of which depicts Islam’s prophet as an apparent terrorist with a bomb in his turban, have caused outrage and threats of boycotts across the Muslim world.
SEE: Cartoons of Prophet Met With Outrage (Washington Post)
Caricature of Muhammad Leads to Boycott of Danish Goods (NY Times)
In his letter to the Danish ambassador, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad offered his group’s assistance “as a bridge between the Muslim community worldwide and the government of Denmark.” He proposed a meeting “to discuss areas of mutual cooperation in helping to remedy the situation.”
Awad noted that CAIR representatives recently took part in a U.S.-sponsored conference in Belgium that brought together American, Belgian and European Muslim leaders in the wake of rioting by immigrant youth in France. He also cited recent meetings with the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, France and Spain dealing with other incidents relating to Europe’s Muslim community.
“We all value freedom of expression and the right to critical thought,” said Awad. “But we should also use good judgment and common sense to avoid actions that will be perceived as intentionally insulting to others or that promote hatred.”
He said proactive educational measures are the best response to such incidents. Following allegations that military personnel at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran, CAIR launched its “Explore the Quran” project offering free copies of Islam’s revealed text to Americans of all faiths.
SEE: Explore the Quran
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
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