London, UK, February 8 – A high level delegation from the Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain will visit the French embassy in London on Thursday morning [February 9th 2006] to deliver a letter of demands to the French Government. They will later visit the embassies of Denmark, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
The letter states that the "caricatures were a deliberate provocation" and demands that governments "exert pressure on 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."
The letter also demands "sincere and robust intellectual debate regarding Islam and the West, not insults, draconian laws and vilification."
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "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."
"The media outlets that printed these offensive caricatures must take responsibility for this deliberate act of provocation. They must retract the caricatures, apologise for the offence caused and guarantee no further repetition. Only then can we move to the more productive arena of debating the real issues concerning Islam and the West."
The delegation will visit the French Embassy [Address: 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT; nearest underground Knightsbridge] in London at 11.00 a.m. before embarking on a series of visits to other European embassies in London.
Notes to Editors:
For a detailed itinerary of the delegations please contact us for further information.