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Sikhs condemn the publication of cartoons

Sikhs condemn the publication of cartoons

New Zealand Sikh Society (Wellington) strongly condemns the deliberate action of some members of New Zealand Press to publish cartoons, which were known to be objectionable to the Muslim community, as it hurts their religious sentiments.

The executive committee of New Zealand Sikh Society (Wellington) said “There should be a clear boundary between freedom of expression and respect for religion in a secular society, which the press has seemingly ignored for little or no reason. As the adverse effects of similar publications made overseas was clearly known, there was no specific need to print the cartoons again here. We really wonder what was achieved by printing the cartoons. The media has achieved nothing but extra sales at the cost of disturbing the communal balance by publishing the cartoons.”

The “freedom of press” or “freedom of speech” or any other “freedom” does not absolve any one from a responsible behavior.

In light of the fact New Zealand evolving into a multi ethnic society and a global trading nation, we need to develop an environment of understanding one another and respect.

It is an act of immature and obtuse thinking that the pictures have been called "newsworthy" and therefore published. The press has a social responsibility for making New Zealand a safe and tolerant place for all those who have made New Zealand their home including various minorities to live and raise children. In this instance it has let the minorities down badly. We hope that common sense will prevail in the future and the media act more responsibly.

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