The Muslim Council of Britain is deeply concerned by the continuing refusal of several European newspapers to understand and acknowledge the immense hurt they have caused to Muslims the world over by printing gratuitously offensive caricatures of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
`We reiterate our absolute condemnation of the decision to publish these images in Denmark and view their republication in other European countries as a deliberate and senseless act of provocation. Newspaper editors must exercise restraint and good judgement instead of adding to the increasingly xenophobic tone being adopted in parts of Europe against Muslims. These newspapers should apologise immediately for the harm they have caused,' said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The MCB acknowledges the fundamental right of peoples of all faiths to freedom of speech and expression. This does not mean however that they should be free to create social unrest and instability. Neither should that freedom be abused to undermine national interests at home and abroad.
Inevitably some elements may seek to exploit this current crisis to provoke negative or extreme reactions among Muslims. The MCB urges fellow British Muslims to exercise the utmost restraint in the face of these provocations.
`There may be elements that would want to exploit the genuine sense of anguish and hurt among British Muslims about the manner in which the Prophet has been vilified to pursue their own mischievous agenda. We would caution all British Muslims to not allow themselves to be provoked. They should respond peacefully and with dignity at all times,' added Sir Iqbal.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK's representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact: The Muslim Council of Britain, Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT,
Tel: 07708 065 150 or 0208 432 0585/6, Fax: 0208 432 0587, Email:
, Website: http://www.mcb.org.uk