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  • Date :
  • 9/28/2012

Muslim Leaders Urge Intl. Action to Stop Religious Insults

muslim leaders urge intl. action to stop religious insults

Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults in a challenge to U.S. President Barack Obama's defense of freedom of expression at the UN General Assembly.

Obama made a strong condemnation of "violence and intolerance" in his speech at the UN headquarters on September 25. He said world leaders had a duty to speak out against the deadly attacks on Americans in the past two weeks caused by an anti-Islam film made in the United States.

But Muslim kings and presidents and other heads of state said Western nations must clamp down on "Islamophobia" following the storm over the film which mocks the Prophet Muhammad.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, said the film was another "ugly face" of religious defamation.

He called for "an international instrument to effectively prevent incitement to hostility or violence based on religions or beliefs."

King Abdullah II of Jordan, a close U.S. ally, spoke out against the film.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari condemned what he called the "incitement of hate" against Muslims and demanded United Nations action.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai condemned "the depravity of fanatics" who made the "Innocence of Muslims" film which set off the storm.

"The menace of Islamophobia is a worrying phenomenon that threatens peace and coexistence," he added in his address to the General Assembly.

Obama said he could not ban the video, reportedly made by Egyptian Copts, because of the U.S. Constitution which protects the right to free speech.

Stewart Patrick, a specialist on international institutions for the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said the film furor had "exposed a huge fault line regarding the balance between free speech, which obviously is healthier in the United States, and the defamation of religion, which is really a red line for many people."

By Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:  

France Bans Protests over Prophet Muhammad Cartoons

Italy FM: Prophet Cartoons Irresponsible Sensationalism

Protests in Sri Lanka against anti-Islam film

Muslim Anti-Film Protest Hits London

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