Egypt and Mauritania speak out in UN Assembly against anti-Muslim sentiment

25 September 2010

Egypt’s Foreign Minister today stressed the need to propagate a global culture of religious tolerance, telling the General Assembly that Muslims have been subjected to ridicule and harassment because of their faith in some States in the West, and their religious icons disrespected.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister today stressed the need to propagate a global culture of religious tolerance, telling the General Assembly that Muslims have been subjected to ridicule and harassment because of their faith in some States in the West, and their religious icons disrespected.

“We find the West, in general, being drawn into a clash with the Muslim world,” Ahmed Abdoul Gheit said on the third day of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.

“This clash will serve no one except extremists and those who hold perverted ideas on both sides. It will not be in the interest of security and stability of the world. It will not be in the interest of moderates. In such a clash, the winner is a loser and the victor is defeated,” Mr. Gheit said.

He said actions against Islam and Muslims that were “naïve and superfluous” will be rejected, adding that Egypt would do its best at the political, cultural and religious levels to confront the threats.

“We call upon countries, and especially governments, to assume their responsibility to confront the spectre of a dreadful religious and civilization clash.

“We call on them to propagate a culture of enlightenment based on tolerance, the respect of differences and the renunciation of fanaticism, hatred and zealotry. Laws have to be enacted to protect minorities and their beliefs from aggression of the promoters of strife,” Mr. Gheit said.

Mauritania’s Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf, for his part, warned against associating Islam with the global phenomenon of terrorism, which he said had also affected his country.

“My country, which is making diligent efforts [to combat terrorism and organized crime] on all these fronts, also focuses on activating the role of our prominent scholars to debate the best manner to provide the correct image of Islam, a religion of tolerance, virtue, and acceptance of others, and to reject extremism,” Mr. Laghdaf said.

 

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