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Cablegate: Oic Slams Danish Cartoon..

VZCZCXRO7226
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHFL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR
DE RUEHJI #0084/01 0500618
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 190618Z FEB 08 ZDK
FM AMCONSUL JEDDAH
TO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 0145
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1998
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 0026
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0076

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 JEDDAH 000084

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

RIYADH PLEASE PASS TO DHAHRAN, DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARP AND
EUR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL KISL KIRF DA NL SA
SUBJECT: OIC SLAMS DANISH CARTOON...


141877,2/19/2008 6:18,08JEDDAH84,"Consulate Jeddah",
CONFIDENTIAL,08JEDDAH401|08THEHAGUE133,"VZCZCXRO7226
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHFL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR
DE RUEHJI #0084/01 0500618
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 190618Z FEB 08 ZDK
FM AMCONSUL JEDDAH
TO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 0145
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1998
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 0026
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0076","C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01
OF 02 JEDDAH 000084
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
RIYADH PLEASE PASS TO DHAHRAN, DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARP AND
EUR
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL KISL KIRF DA NL SA
SUBJECT: OIC SLAMS DANISH CARTOONS; WARNS OF CONFLICT;
CALLS FOR PEACEFUL PROTEST
REF: A. JEDDAH 00401 B. THE HAGUE 00133 C. COPENHAGEN
00072
JEDDAH 00000084 001.6 OF 002
Classified By: Consul General Tatiana C. Gfoeller for Reasons 1.4(b) an
d (d)
1. (C) BEGIN SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Since the OIC's 2004
election of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as Secretary General, one of
his top priorities has been to combat misperceptions of
Islam. Unsurprisingly, he issued a strong statement
condemning the February 13 re-publishing of caricatures from
the 2006 Mohammad cartoon crisis (Reftels A and C).
Ihsanoglu deemed the Danish media decision to publish the
cartoons ""irresponsible"" and ""insensible,"" arguing that the
cartoons ""constituted an advocacy of hatred."" He further
warned of ""bigger conflict"" over the cartoons and called on
Muslims to protest peacefully. Of comparable offense, OIC
officials argued recently to Pol Chief, is the upcoming
release of a Dutch MP's film on Islam (Reftel B). Given the
OIC's focus on ""Islamophobia"" and recent protest of the
caricatures, the film will undoubtedly roil the OIC,
prompting Ihsanoglu to issue equally strong remarks.
Conversations with Post contacts and letters to Saudi
English-language dailies have presented a myriad of Saudi
opinions, from defense of Freedom of Speech to outright anger
toward the Danish media. END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.
OIC CAMPAIGNS AGAINST ""ISLAMOPHOBIA""
2. (U) In speeches around the World, Organization of the
Islamic Conference Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and
other OIC officials have been campaigning against
""Islamophobia;"" a term Ihsanoglu has described as
""intolerance of and discrimination against Muslims.""
Ihsanoglu believes that post-9/11 the Western media has
contributed to a rise in ""misrepresentations and stereotyping
of Islam."" He argues that actions such as the publishing of
the 2006 Mohammad cartoons are ""islamophobic"" and do nothing
more than foster hostility toward Muslims.
OIC SYG WARNS OF BIGGER CONFLICT; CALLS FOR PEACEFUL PROTEST
3. (U) Ihsanoglu stated on February 16 that the Danish media
decision to re-publish the caricatures was ""irresponsible""
and ""insensible,"" and ""constituted an advocacy of hatred.""
He warned that by reprinting the cartoons, ""we are headed
toward a bigger conflict and that shows that both sides will
be hostages of their radicals."" Condemning the use of
violence, he called on Muslims in Denmark to protest
""peacefully and democratically."" He added that the ""Muslim
world was waiting for an unequivocal stand"" from the Danish
government under the 1996 United Nations International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.
OIC CONCERNED ABOUT DUTCH FILM ON ISLAM
4. (C) Citing the epidemic nature of ""Islamophobia,"" OIC
officials raised with Pol Chief their concern over Dutch MP
Geert Wilder's soon-to-be released, 15-minute film on Islam
(Reftel B). (NOTE: In a February 10 interview, Wilders said
the film would be released in March. END NOTE.) They
compared it to the 2006 Danish cartoons scandal and stated
that such actions did nothing but slander Islam and Muslims.
(COMMENT: In previous meetings, Post has asked OIC officials
how such a claim does not infringe Freedom of Speech. Their
response is typically ambiguous, stating that they support
Freedom of Speech provided that people exercise that right
with respect for other cultures. END COMMENT). They also
expressed concern over a perceived increase in the negative
perception of Islam in the West. They added that they
believed the solution was for dialogue across civilizations.
SAUDI OPINION RUNS THE GAMUT
5. (C) Conversations with Post contacts and letters published
in Saudi English-language dailies over the past few days have
presented an array of Saudi opinions regarding the
re-publishing of the cartoons. A few liberal, U.S.-educated
Jeddawis believe that creating such caricatures is within the
purview of Freedom of Speech. More moderate individuals,
such as some of Post's OIC contacts, argue that Freedom of
Speech should not include the right to propagate negative
opinions about other cultures. Others have deemed such
JEDDAH 00000084 002.2 OF 002
cartoons ""an insult to Islam,"" and consider their
re-publishing a blatant attack on Muslims worldwide.
GFOELLER ",

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