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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Arab News: OIC Raps EU for Tepid Response on Cartoons

According to Arab News today, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC secretary-general, says: “Discriminatory legislations and measures are being enacted to narrow the margin of liberties of Muslims living in the West.”

Now, that's a plain out lie without any justification in the world of realities.

The OIC hardliners refuse to deal with the realities of this world and continue their campaign against free speech, - and as the OIC represents the Muslim countries, we better interpret this as the Muslim countries once again denying the real world.

Not surprisingly, but once again emphasizing the enormous hypocracy expressed by the least democratic and the most oppressive countries in the world.


Click Continue .. to get the wholde store from Arab News.

by Siraj Wahab, Arab News

JEDDAH, 16 March 2006 — The highest representative body of the Muslim world yesterday expressed dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the European Union response to the publication of the blasphemous cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Addressing the first ministerial meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the organization’s secretary-general, said by simply regretting that Muslims found the cartoons offensive, EU foreign ministers had not gone far enough at a meeting in Brussels recently.

“We expected the EU to address the issue of cartoons in a more fair way,” Ihsanoglu told the meeting of the OIC executive committee formed last December and comprising the chief diplomats of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Yemen, Turkey, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Senegal.

“I must say that we are not satisfied with the result of the (EU) meeting in Brussels on Feb. 27. The conclusion published by the European Union fell short of our expectations. It was disappointing.”

Ihsanoglu said the publication of the cartoons was clearly meant to demonize Islam and its Prophet. “Animosity against Islam is constantly on the rise in Europe. It has already reached unprecedented and very worrying levels in some countries,” he said.

“Discriminatory legislations and measures are being enacted to narrow the margin of liberties of Muslims living in the West,” he said. “Dialogue does not seem to have rendered any positive results and a strong trend of Islam-bashing is still dominant in the Western press,” he said.

He called upon the foreign ministers to take more action-oriented steps and sustained endeavors to stem this mounting threat. “Member states,” he said, “should take the lead in combating Islamophobia through collective and practical measures, with the same zeal and devotion as combating terrorism.”

On Iraq, Ihsanoglu said: “We stress the need for a smooth and speedy continuation of the political process which will culminate in the formation of a government of national unity... Such an approach may create a climate of trust conducive to encouraging stability and peace and preventing the looming threats of prolonged civil war in the country.”

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who had also been invited, sent a deputy to the meeting. Ihsanoglu said the Iraqi delegation had asked the OIC to “play an essential role in backing the political process in Iraq” and invited him to visit the violence-plagued country immediately. The foreign ministers unanimously agreed to form a contact group on Iraq.

The OIC condemned Israel’s raid on a West Bank prison on Tuesday, calling it an act of state terrorism. “The Israeli government committed (an act of) arrogance, violence and state terrorism on liberated Palestinian land yesterday,” said Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakar Al-Qurbi, who co-chaired the key meeting.

“Regrettably, this was totally ignored by the international community, suggesting that Israel has received a green light to deal with the Palestinian issue with the logic of imposing solutions and overlooking the principle of the Palestinian Authority’s sovereignty,” Al-Qurbi said.

“The outrageous Israeli attack on the Jericho prison, immediately after the undeclared withdrawal of the American and British observers ... constitutes a new testament to the rampant non-abidance by Israel of its international commitments in front of the eyes of the international community,” said the OIC secretary-general.

The Yemeni foreign minister criticized the United States and European Union for “refusing to accept” the outcome of January Palestinian elections in which Hamas scored a stunning victory.
Al-Qurbi hoped that the meeting would be the first step toward activating and reforming the organization. He emphasized the need for joint Islamic action to confront challenges posed against the Islamic faith and culture.

“We are not against freedom of expression and opinion. At the same time, we’ll not accept abuse of our Prophet,” he said, referring to the offensive cartoons.

Al-Qurbi said Islam had guaranteed freedom of expression and faith before the announcement of the Human Rights Charter and long before the arrival of Western democratic systems. “To you be your religion and to me my religion,” he quoted a verse from the Holy Qur’an that emphasizes the freedom of faith in Islam.

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