London, UK February 13th 2008 – Several Danish newspapers and the national television today reprinted a cartoon that depicts the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a ‘terrorist’ in a calculated insult to the world’s 1 billion plus Muslims. We absolutely condemn their publication. The editors claim that this is in defence of freedom of speech and follows allegations that three men planned to attack one of the original cartoonists.
There have been many myths about the Muslim response to the cartoons. Whilst the majority of Muslims do not consider pictorial representation of the Prophet (pbuh) correct, it is the insulting nature of the cartoons themselves that caused widespread anger.
In comparison to the fanatical responses by much of the British media and society to Dr Rowan Williams’ fairly mundane speech on accommodating minorities, most of the reaction from millions of ordinary Muslims was quite measured.
Whether it is the media in Denmark attacking Muslims by insulting their beloved Prophet, politicians in Holland attacking Muslims by threatening to ban the Quran, or the British media attacking Muslims through the veil of attacking the Shariah, Europe’s xenophobic streak seems to be one thing that unites many from left and right in the continent.
They forget their own past shameful and racist treatment of minorities – Jews, Blacks or Gypsies – whipping up hatred such that freedom of speech rapidly descended into the freedom to insult and ultimately the freedom to persecute.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain