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Irresponsible Media Reporting

3 February 2006

Irresponsible Media Reporting

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand is deeply saddened and extremely disappointed with the Dominion Post in Wellington and the Christchurch Press for printing disrespectful drawings of Prophet Muhammad. This is an irresponsible act from mainstream media.

Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press should have known better that such publications would be considered blasphemous by Muslims. In the name of freedom of expression, the media has taken this matter to the extreme.

Freedom of expression does not mean "absolute" freedom, going as far as mocking other religions and their beliefs. Certainly, it would not mean to inflict emotional pain to anyone.

The New Zealand Muslim community has shown its commitment and declared itself to work towards a cohesive, vibrant and progressive New Zealand. In these difficult times,

New Zealanders of all race and religion should rally together to build bridges across different ethnicities and help keep our country safe and secure for ourselves, our families and friends. The trust and togetherness are vital for our country's survival and progress. Regardless of our religion, race or culture, we should come together to realise the vision of a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious New Zealand where everyone should enjoy happiness, prosperity and progress for many more years to come.

The Federation hopes that the Editors of Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press would realise the serious implications and damage their papers have caused by such an irresponsible, insensitive and hurtful act against the Muslims. Good sense should prevail.

The mature and honourable thing to do now is for the Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press to apologise and retract such printing.

The Federation would also like to call upon the Muslims in New Zealand to show restrain in the face of such flagrant provocation and seek God's Grace for patience and forbearance.

Javed Khan


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