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U.S. Condemns Publication Of Muhammad Cartoons

Young people with a banner reading "Sorry" in support of critics of the newspaper "Jylland-Posten" for publishing controversial Muhammed cartoons (epa) 3 February 2006 -- The U.S. State Department today condemned cartoons in European newspapers of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Spokesman Curtis Cooper told reporters in Washington that while press freedom must be respected, it must be, in his words, "coupled with press responsibility."

He said the cartoons had incited religious or ethnic hatred. He urged tolerance and respect for all religions.

The cartoons, first published by a Danish newspaper, have sparked a furor with protesters taking to the streets in countries across the Muslim world.

Several European newspapers today reprinted the cartoons, insisting that it was an issue of freedom of speech.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)

Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.