In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE): memorandum regarding the wave of hate directed against Islamic sanctities
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) follows with deep distress and concern the wave of abuse and defamation targeting Islamic sanctities and religious values through some despicable media productions. These persist in provoking the feelings, and offending the dignity of Muslim peoples and communities around the world, contrary to shared human values, the decrees of religions, and the stipulations of many conventions.
In the aftermath of the appearance of a reprehensible film in the United States, and the publication by a French newspaper of hate-filled cartoons, in addition to a number of other developing incidents, the Federation expresses its strong condemnation of this repeating trend in attempts to vilify the noble Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Federation considers that these heinous works represent practices reproduced from ages of darkness and ignorance, intent on disseminating hate, and promoting antipathy between followers of religions through cheap insult of God’s noble Messengers and Prophets, peace be upon them.
At a time when the world needs to reinforce the culture of harmony, and strengthen the ties of mutual understanding, the Federation warns of the perils embodied in the acts of defamation, incitement, and abuse targeting the Muslim religion and its sanctities, which deeply offend the feelings of Muslims. Such abusive acts include the production of hate films, burning copies of the noble Quran, and publishing insulting cartoons of the noble Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, or other noble Prophets and Messengers. The Federation demands that such abusive practices are confronted, as a duty shouldered by all parties within the single social context and shared human environment.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, in reminding of UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/224, "Combating defamation of religions", issued on 21 December 2010, invites international and regional bodies, governments, and specialist organisations to take all necessary steps to combat systematic practices of defamation, incitement, and hate.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe emphasises that freedom of expression as well as the right to discuss and express critical views are among the gains secured by humanity that are worthy of respect and protection. Yet, it is not right that such gains are used irresponsibly, as lame excuses to vilify religions, desecrate sanctities, defame cultures, or practice incitement against brothers in humanity and partners in society, let alone disseminating hate speech, fomenting antipathy, and offending the feelings of followers of religions.
The Federation considers that the changes witnessed in communication environments globally impose greater principled obligations, and moral responsibilities on the part of effective actors in the media and culture sectors. It is the responsibility of all parties worldwide to empower peoples and communities on this planet, enabling them to come to know one another on the basis of mutual respect, to enjoy the fruits of human diversity, and to reject racist expressions, prejudgements, and stereotypes, in favour of a spirit of openness, exchange, and understanding.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe renews its condemnation of any aggression targeting the innocent, including diplomatic bodies, as this entails a violation of religious injunctions, moral principles, and diplomatic conventions. The Federation warns that committing despicable insults against Islamic sanctities from any quarter, regardless, cannot justify attacking embassies, spilling the blood of diplomats, and causing innocent victims to fall; these represent a trespass on the teachings of Islam, which stipulate protection for these envoys, even in times of war, and safeguard the lives of protected persons. The Federation emphasises that these attacks and acts of violence represent a wrong response to provocative abuses, and are contrary to the teachings of the noble Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, as well as fomenting malice and feeding negative stereotypes.
Our human societies are expected, through means that include effective civil action, the tools available in a state of law, and efforts to spread awareness and enlightenment, to courageously confront these attempts to spread animosity, and vilify sanctities, religions, and cultural specificities. It is for the good of all concerned to close the door on those seeking to fan the flames of hostility between the followers of religions and cultures for the sake of achieving cheap aims.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, while it warns of the trends of hostility towards Islam and the phenomena of hate, incitement, and defamation, calls for an appropriate response embodied in reinforcing solidarity and openness, protecting human values and constitutional principles, strengthening accord and mutual respect, and promoting solidarity and cohesion in the human family.
Brussels, 5 October 2012
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe