Arab, European thinkers call for 'wisdom'

10th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - Close to 100 Arab and European academics, political and religious figures issued a joint appeal in Paris on Thursday for "moderation and wisdom" in the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - Close to 100 Arab and European academics, political and religious figures issued a joint appeal in Paris on Thursday for "moderation and wisdom" in the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Warning that "innocents could pay the price" if the dispute continues to spread, they urged all sides to avoid worsening it through "simplification, generalisation and one-upmanship".

"We call on the media, on political and religious leaders, on all Western and Arab citizens to recognise the gravity of this crisis," they said in a statement, following a meeting organised by press freedoms watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

"In a global climate characterised by a clash between the Arab world and the West," such a row "does nothing but throw oil on the fire."

"Faced with this trial, we need more than ever to show moderation and wisdom," the text said.

Signatories included Haytham Manna, the Syrian spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights, Mohamed Bechari, head of the National Federation of French Muslims, and the Socialist former French minister Martine Aubry.

The cartoons, including one depicting Mohammed with a turban shaped like a bomb, initially published in a Danish newspaper but then reprinted in several European states, has sparked violent protests by Muslims worldwide.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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