ISLAMABAD: Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, on Wednesday expressed shock and dismay over the publication of blasphemous caricatures by a French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
In a statement issued in Jeddah, the OIC Secretary General cautioned that publication would contribute to further exacerbate the ongoing turmoil and violence created by the release of the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” which had been condemned globally.
He added that the French weekly should pay heed to the concerns of international community on incitement and intolerance of religious beliefs including that expressed by the French Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault.
Ihsanoglu called on the political and religious leadership of the world and all stakeholders to take a united stand against fanatics and radicals involved in destabilising global peace and security by fanning incitement and religious intolerance. He said that the time had come for international community to take serious note of the dangerous implications of hate speech and inciting publications and come out of hiding behind the excuse of freedom of expression. The secretary general stressed that the international community should focus on what appeared to be a deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom that posed a clear and present danger to peace, security and stability in the regional as well as the global context.
Ihsanoglu made a strong call on all the people and voices of reason of all faiths and belief to unite against this despicable campaign of hate mongering. He called upon Muslims all over the world to exercise restraint in testing times. The Secretary General also highlighted the importance of the consensual framework provided by the OIC sponsored resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process for its implementation towards evolving a concerted global response to an increasing frequency of incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds.