AMA Condemns Publication of Cartoons

Newark, CA: Condemning the recent disrespectful representation of the Prophet of Islam in the Danish and other European newspapers in “the strongest possible” terms, the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), a civic education organization with 101 chapters nationwide, called for strategic outreach to other groups and communities and proposed internal education and preparation.
The publication of the cartoon in the Danish newspapers comes at a time when the Muslim world has been burdened by a series of humili ating provocations including desecration of the Qur’an at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
In a four-point statement the organization called on Muslim communities everywhere to recognize the provocation and resist the “trap” set by those who would manipulate Muslims religious sensitivities. It also called on all religious and intellectual organizations to increase their efforts to teach tolerance and mutual respect.
“In an open, free speech, society bigotry is fought and defeated through public consciousness and rational analysis. Public rebuke is to bigotry what sunshine is to germs.” AMA Chairman Dr. Agha Saeed said.
The AMA statement reads:
“First, we must separate wheat from chaff. The issue in not freedom of speech and no one is calling for censorship. The issue is increasing lack of tolerance against Muslims and Islam in the West. Today, no one defends similar insults against any other group in the name of free speech. In the last three decades people have been fired from jobs, made to resign from elected position, and excommunicated from clubs and associations for saying similar, socially and morally reprehensible things against Blacks, Jews, and other groups.
“Second, world over Muslims must recognize and resist an emerging pattern of provocation and entrapment. This entrapment leads to insult and humiliation, on the one hand, and cleverly insin uated conflict with free speech, on the other. While subjecting Muslims and Islam to palpable intolerance, this clever stratagem seeks to make them appear the intolerant community.
“We must also remain vigilant against agent provocateurs who may seek to involve some segment of the community in irresponsible action.
“Third, Muslim social, political and cultural organizations should reach out to other communities and solicit their support against these brazen acts of bigotry. In an open, free speech, society bigotry is fought and defeated through public consciousness and rational analysis. Public rebuke is to bigotry what sunshine is t o germs. Ask your elected and appointed officials as well leaders of other faith tradition to publicly rebuke these statements.
“Fourth, Muslims living in Western societies should educate themselves and others about this phenomenon of deliberate defamation and willful humiliating that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future by way of repeated provocations against Islam, Qur’an, and the Prophet.”


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