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  • 9/23/2012

OIC Expresses "Shock and Dismay" over Prophet Cartoons

oic secretary general ekmeleddin ihsanoglu

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has warned that cartoons denigrating Prophet Muhammad published in a French satirical magazine could trigger a new wave of anti-Western violence, but urged Muslims all over the world to show restraint.

In a statement in Jeddah on Thursday, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed "shock and dismay" over the caricatures and warned they would "further exacerbate the ongoing turmoil and violence" created by the release of the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims."

Angry protests linked to the movie have left tens of people dead since last week, with much of the violence targeting the United States where the film was produced.

The French government fears that the focus could now shift to its overseas missions and cultural centers following the publications of the cartoons in the French weekly 'Charlie Hebdo.'

"The French weekly should pay heed to the concerns of the international community on incitement and intolerance of religious beliefs," he said.

"It was time the international community took serious note of the dangerous implications of hate speech and inciting publications and come out of hiding behind the excuse of freedom of expression," Ihsanoglu was quoted as saying in the Arab media. The film and the cartoons constituted a "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse" of freedom of speech and "posed a clear danger to peace, security and stability in the region as well as the global context." He said and called on Muslims worldwide "to exercise restraint in testing times."

Embassies, consulates, cultural centers and international French schools in around 20 Muslim countries remained closed on Friday.

Muslim World League Secretary General Abdullah al-Turki urged governments and international organizations to take legal action against blasphemous actions.

By Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Iran’s Leader: Enemies’ Chagrin behind blasphemous movie

Protests Held in Tehran to Condemn Insulting Cartoons

Many Killed in Pakistan Protests against Anti-Islam Film, Cartoons

Afghans Stage Fresh Protests against Anti-Islam Film, Cartoons

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