Finnish Muslims condemn both anti-Muhammed movie and the violence it has spawned
Muslim organisations stress that freedom of speech comes with responsibility
On Friday, the Finnish Muslim community also took a stand on the American-made anti-Muhammed film and on the riots sparked by it.
In their common statement, the Finnish Muslims condemn both the film that offends the Prophet Mohammed and the violence incited by the movie.
”The sacred values of Muslims are constantly targets of attacks in the West”, the statement declares. The purpose of these attacks is for example to distort the image of Muslims and to spread hate speech and Islamophobia, the statement notes.
”With his own example, the Prophet Muhammed has shown us that we should not be provoked by such situations, but be patient and act according to law”, the organisations state.
”When we are provoked, we are not acting in the spirit of our religion, but are increasing evil and chaos”, the statement observes further.
In their response, the organisations also regret that human lives have been lost in the riots triggered by the movie.
”We wish to express our condolences to the families of the deceased. Islam teaches that a past injustice cannot be cured with another injustice."
In their statement, the Finnish Muslims also stress the importance of freedom of speech.
”We support freedom of speech and opinion, which come with responsibility, as well as the right to peaceful demonstrations”, the statement continues.
The statement was drawn up at the office of the Finnish Islamic Council (SINE) in Helsinki on Friday.
By Friday evening the statement had been signed by 15 Finnish Muslim organisations.
According to Anas Hajjar, the Chairman of the Board of SINE, the fuss about the movie has led to a debate among the Finnish Muslim communities. However, not everyone has been aware of the entire matter.
”This has come as quite a surprise to us. Those who follow the media and particularly foreign satellite channels have naturally learnt about these events, while those who do not have satellite channels or the time to watch them have not been aware of the matter at all”, Hajjar says.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Former bar & restaurant to be turned into cultural centre for Shia Muslims in Helsinki (11.1.2011)
A new generation at the mosque (13.4.2010)
Islam in Finland (Wikipedia)