STATEMENT BY THE ICYF-DC ON DEFEMATORY ACT OF CARICATURING PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)

 Recently we have been too often witnessing of actions offending Islam, its symbols and principles. Yet another sample of this notorious trend occurred on October 6 when Danish state TV aired a video footage showing a number of drunk and drugged members of youth wing of Danish People’s Party at a summer camp in August, engaged in a competition to draw humiliating images of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It happens in a time, when the leading politicians and public figures from West and Islamic countries are advocating self-restrain in the aftermath of previous notorious caricature scandal.

   Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) expresses its resentment with such a barbaric act perpetratited and publicized in a country placed in the heart  of civilization which claims to be a cradle of traditions of tolerance and respect for beliefs of others. We consider this as deliberate act of moral terrorism directed to offend religious sensitivities of hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world.

   While expressing its satisfaction with Danish Prime Minister A. F. Rasmussen’s timely condemnation of the mentioned act of vandalism, ICYF-DC calls upon Danish Government to take effective steps to undertake legal measures to penalize the organizers of this explicit Islamophobic act in accordance with the national provisions of International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination which prohibits activities “violating human rights and freedoms …or incite ethnic, racial or religious hatred or intolerance”.

We recognize the freedom of speech as one of key principles of democracy. Simultaneously it is the ethical, moral and political responsibility of public opinion leaders and civil society institutions, as well as legal responsibility of governments and state in the West to discourage acts of intolerance by condemning and penalizing them. Therefore we also call upon the EU to step up with elaborating all necessary legal measures to impose a penalty upon those insulting religious feelings and symbols.  Whereas in some European and other Western countries even doubting of certain historical events of inhumane behaviour toward certain religious or ethnic groups is being penalized as law-offending act it is unacceptable that defamation of religious principles and symbols  of hundred of millions Muslims goes unpunished, adding to feeling of impunity thus implicitly encouraging future acts of Islamophobia. Double standards in issues related to fundamentals of human rights and religious sensitivities are intolerable.

   ICYF-DC invites European youth organizations, in particular Danish youth organizations to unequivocally condemn the defamatory action by the youth wing of Danish People’s Party and join efforts in introducing effective mechanism to mute hatred disseminators and invigorate dialogue and mutual respect between youth of different cultural domains which is also an immediate aim of praiseworthy “All different – All equal” campaign.  On its own part the ICYF-DC will redouble its efforts toward successful implementation of “Youth for the Alliance of Civilizations” Initiative aimed at overcoming prejudice and bridging divides in contemporary world.