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British Muslim group calls for ban on depictions of Mohammed

Posted by James Hammerton @ 1:34 am on 11 February, 2006.
Categories political liberties.
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The Guardian reports that a group called the Muslim Action Committee wants a ban on depictions of the prophet Mohammed:

Imams from across the United Kingdom today demanded changes to the Race Relations Act and a bar on British newspapers printing images of Muhammad.

The Muslim scholars said that Muslims should be given the same legal rights as Sikhs and Jews, and that the Press Complaints Commission’s code of conduct should be tightened to prevent the publication of potentially offensive images of Islam’s prophet.

The logic behind this call is interesting, according to the BBC’s report on the same matter:

Mr Saddiqi said they had concluded they wanted the Race Relations Act modified to give Muslims the same protection as Sikhs or Jews.

He also said the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct should be tightened to prevent publication of any images of Muhammad, but added the clerics accepted criticism and discussion of Islam should be allowed.

He said the code was a voluntary code to ensure the media treated people with respect and called for that respect to be shown to Muslims, whose religion forbids any pictorial depiction of Muhammad.

Mr Saddiqi said: “That act in itself is deeply offensive, it’s akin to someone standing up in your face and abusing your mum, your sister, your dad, and it’s akin to a deliberate act of provocation.”

Thus we’re being told that if we do not observe the Muslims’ ban on depicting Mohammed, i.e. obey a particular tenet of their religion, Muslims will take this as a deliberate act of provocation as if we’d just insulted their entire family. This is an attack on both freedom of speech and religious freedom.

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