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ADC Condemns Hateful Depiction of Islam and Calls for Inquiry

Washington, DC, February 2, 2006 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) condemns condemns a series of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed in a negative, hateful, and racist fashion. These racist attacks, that do nothing but perpetuate hate and violence against Muslims, were featured in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and reprinted in other European newspapers.
Furthermore, ADC called on the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to initiate an inquiry into the growing controversy stemming from these depictions.  The ODIHR is the body that addresses Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in the 55-country-member OSCE which includes the United States, Canada, and EU-member nations among others.
While ADC calls on all parties to establish an open and constructive dialogue to address this issue, and opposes any acts of violence and retaliatory threats or attacks, ADC is very troubled that images of this nature are considered acceptable within normal public discourse in Europe.  Hon. Mary Rose Oakar, ADC President, said, “The Arab and Muslim populations in the US and Europe continue to face hate-motivated violence and unlawful acts of discrimination as a result of the perceived acceptability of hatred toward Islam and Muslims,” Oakar continued,”Tensions in recent months highlight the need to establish a tolerant public discussion to promote integration and understanding among all peoples.  Hateful anti-Muslim images, just as Anti-Jewish images, are counterproductive and impede on the efforts of those working toward a just and equal society with respect for all faiths and ethnicities.” ADC calls on newspapers and magazines to cease publication of these hateful images that malign the religion of 1.4 billion people around the world.