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Europe and Islam

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The EU Observer published an interesting look at the European response to the violent cartoon protests. The Members of European Parliament (MEPs)—Europe’s lawmakers—are expected to issue a resolution condemning the violence, supporting Denmark and reiterating their stance on freedom of expression.

Some MEPs believed that the protests were not spontaneous: “They were organized by repressive regimes months after the publication of the cartoons,” center-right German MEP Hans-Gert Poettering said.

During the debate, Mr. Poettering brandished a stack of clippings from Muslim newspapers around the world, and said that he had found “hundreds of cartoons making a mockery of our world,” and underlined that “tolerance is no one-way-street, but has to go in both directions.”

The MEPs were also generally critical of a proposal for them to draw up a media code of conduct: “The press has to draw its own code of conduct, we cannot do it for them,” said German Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

On the other side, officials at the Cairo University Al Azhar, with support from the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, submitted a proposal to the UN calling for the UN Security Council to “oblige countries not to insult prophets and that legal action be taken against offenders.”

Source: The EU Observer

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