A letter from Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain to H.E. Monsieur G'rard Errera, the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom
Dear Mr Ambassador,
We write in relation to the publication of offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which were originally published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and subsequently published by other European media outlets, including the French media outlets France Soir, Le Monde and Charlie Hebdo.
We do not accept that the publication of these offensive caricatures was related to the notion of "freedom of speech". Western governments hold aloft the banner of "freedom of speech" when it comes to insulting Muslims and Islam, yet attempt to silence through fear, intimidation and draconian legislation, Muslims who criticise Western foreign policy or adhere to the Islamic injunctions on dress. The caricatures were a deliberate provocation, intended to cause insult and cannot be acceptable to any civilised people.
Despite the insult caused to over 1 billion Muslims worldwide following the original publication of the caricatures in September 2005, French media outlets chose to republish the caricatures. French media outlets have not retracted the caricatures, apologised for their publication or given guarantees that there will be no further repetition of such abuse.
In the light of this, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain makes the following demands of the French Government:
1) We demand that you exert pressure on your media outlets to retract the offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), apologise for the offence caused and guarantee no further repetition of such abuse.
2) We demand sincere and robust intellectual debate regarding Islam and the West, not insults, draconian laws and vilification.
Until such time as these demands are met, we will also:
1) Demand that the rulers of the Muslim world immediately sever diplomatic and economic relations with France.
2) Stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brethren around the world in their boycott of products and services from French companies that do not openly and unreservedly condemn these insults.
If courtesy can be restored, then we can move to the more productive arena of debating the real issues of difference that exist between Islam and secular societies.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
9th February 2006