The Muslim Council of Elders has decried the “systematic” blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and libelling religious sanctities and beliefs under the pretext of the freedom of speech. It also decided to establish an international law commission to file a lawsuit against French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo for defaming Allah’s Messenger.
This came as the council convened virtually on Monday under the chairmanship of Dr Ahmed Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, where all the members reiterated their strong condemnation of the killing of the French teacher as well as the stabbing and attempted murder of two Muslim women near Eiffel Tower, branding all these incidents as heinous terrorist attempts whoever their perpetrators are.
The council expressed categorical rejection of insulting the holy prophet and Islamic sanctities under the pretext of the freedom of expression, stressing that this freedom should rather pursue social responsibility in a way that protects the rights of others and does not permit dragging religions for political ends.
The council reiterated its call for Muslims living in the West to adhere to the values of peaceful co-existence with all other segments of society and integrate into their communities in a way that ensures their positive contributions to development-oriented efforts, while preserving their religious and cultural peculiarities and fundamentals as well as not to be provoked by hate speech which distorts and demonises the Islamic faith and drives Islamophobia.
“Confronting these defamation campaigns should be through legal methods out of our belief in the importance of resisting hate speech and other attempts aimed to sow the seeds of sedition in a peaceful, rational and legal manners,” said the council.
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