PRESS RELEASE ON DANISH CARTOONS
We reproduce below a Press Release from AAIIL(USA) regarding the cartoon depictions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad published by Jyllands-Posten. Following the Press Release, are links to media outlets that have displayed the Press Release on their websites.
February 10, 2006
For Immediate Release
AAIIL(USA) strongly condemns "Jyllands-Posten" for its cartoon depictions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and advises Muslims to bear this attack with patience and defend its faith by informing the public of the true character of the Holy Prophet.
Columbus, Ohio, USA - AAIIL(USA), the U.S. branch of the worldwide Muslim organization The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, not only strongly condemns the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten" for its irresponsible conduct of repeatedly publishing caricatures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in which he is depicted in an extremely degrading manner but also advises Muslims to bear this attack on their beloved Prophet and on their faith with patience.
"Not only is it commonly known that the pictorial portrayal of Prophets of God is forbidden in Islam, the level of vulgarity displayed in these particular cartoons of a holy figure of a religion with over one billion adherents in the world is truly outrageous conduct on the part of Jyllands-Posten", stated Dr. Noman Malik, Pathologist at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and Treasurer of AAIIL(USA).
In Islam, pictures of any prophet of God, whether it be Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus or Muhammad, is forbidden - the rationale being - so that the physical depictions of these holy personages do not become objects of worship. The Jylland-Posten caricatures, however, go beyond the simple issue of what is advised by a religion with regards to depictions of holy personages. These cartoons were a direct attack on the Holy Prophet Muhammad's character and on the Islamic faith. Although a claim to "freedom of speech" is commonly employed as a safeguard by those who maliciously insult others, Fazeel S. Khan, Attorney at the law firm of Blaugrund, Herbert & Martin in Dublin, Ohio and Secretary of AAIIL(USA) argues:
"Freedom of speech does not protect 'hate speech' - the type of communications that incite anger and violence against others. Furthermore, freedom of speech does not safeguard material that is 'obscene', as defined by the standards of the community. It can certainly be argued that the Jylland-Posten cartoons are excluded from the loosely used term 'freedom of speech' on both of these grounds. The Danish press as well as the Danish government surely had an opportunity to prevent the publication of these insulting and hurtful depictions without compromising its democratic ideals".
Clearly, Muslims around the world are justified in feeling offended by the Jylland-Posten publications. However, resorting to violence and rage is certainly not what is prescribed in Islam. Dr. Mohammed Ahmad, Physician at MedOhio Clinic in Columbus, Ohio and President of AAIIL(USA) explains:
"Upon receiving abuse from persons of other faiths, the Holy Quran tells Muslims to bear such provocations with patience, ignore the abusive acts and to exercise forgiveness in view of the ignorance displayed by the abusers. For instance, the Holy Quran states: 'Bear patiently what they say' (20:130); 'And disregard their hurtful talk' (33:48); 'Hold fast to forgiveness and enjoin goodness and turn away from the ignorant' (7-199)".
AAIIL(USA) would like to take this opportunity to respond, with patience, to Jylland-Posten by inviting it and all others to learn about the true character of the Holy Prophet and judge for oneself whether the cartoon depictions were fair or even based on an iota of truth. For those interested, a sample of the true character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is available online at: http://www.muslim.org/islam/pr-life/l0.htm. AAIIL(USA) is available for more detailed discussions on this matter. To learn more about the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, visit www.muslim.org.
Contact: Samina Malik, Vice-President, AAIIL(USA)
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