World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Appeal for calm, dialogue on Prophet caricatures


2 February 2006

RSF appeals for calm and dialogue on Prophet caricatures

SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

**Updates IFEX alerts of 2 and 1 February and 26 January 2006 and 15 November 2005**

(RSF/IFEX) - The following is an RSF press release:

Appeal for calm and dialogue on Prophet caricatures

Reporters Without Borders has appealed for calm and reason as the controversy over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed moved in disturbing new directions: "While we understand that many Muslims have been shocked by these caricatures, as Islam forbids any physical representation of the Prophet, there is no justification for calls for violence or threats of any kind."

The press freedom organisation added: "We need to examine this case for what it is. The newspapers that published these cartoons are all in countries in which religion belongs to the private domain. In this tradition, religious freedom goes hand in hand with freedom of expression, which includes the right to make fun of beliefs one does not share. One must also bear in mind that the press is independent of the government in these countries. The views and editorial decisions of individual news media are just their own. They do not speak for their governments or their fellow citizens."

Reporters Without Borders appeals to political and religious leaders in the Muslim countries and to the Arab press to do everything possible to calm people down, so as to be able to start a debate about how we all perceive each other. Similarly, the organisation calls on everyone in the West to concentrate on defusing tension and avoid what could be seen as unnecessary provocations. How are we to reconcile freedom of expression - which many perceive as an overriding need, wherever they live - and respect for each individual's deepest convictions?

Let us hope that the controversy about these cartoons will help us find an answer to this difficult question. Reporters Without Borders will do its best to foster a debate among all those - hopefully the majority - who prefer dialogue to confrontation.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news