Jujuy – April 2006
Palestine Ambassador: "The endless catastrophe"
“I do not know whether that caricatures are the Prophet (view)
Ambassador Suhail Hani Daher Akel was consulted about Mahoma’s (Muhammad) caricatures which caused a bloody reply in the Arab world.
“We feel really sorry about all this. A Danish newspaper published the caricatures last September. However, they have not had a boost. They were published after President Bush’s speech at the Union State, where he referred to Islamic terrorism many times. There is no doubt that it has given this Danish newspaper a boost to offend 1300 million Muslims in the world one time more. According to me, it is also true that it had to be condemned and it had to be regarded as a religious discrimination case, taking into account what it means within the framework of justice.
But I do not know whether these caricatures are really images of the Prophet because Muslims have no knowledge of the Prophet’s face. In films, the Prophet is always turning his back on us and he is covered with a mantle. So nobody has knowledge of the colour of his hair and skin, nobody has knowledge of his eyes. We have knowledge of his philosophy, his love, the imposition of Islam, but we do not have knowledge of any other thing. Then why should I admit that those caricatures refer to the Prophet? Maybe it is any other person. But, unfortunately, it seems that we are admitting that they refer to the Prophet reacting in this way and I do not know whether this is so. We have to take into account it has been used as a provocation in order to prove what has been claimed in the West. The United States, especially, uses it to justify what it is carrying out in Iraq; Israel uses it to justify what it is carrying out in Palestine. A provocation used for demonizing 1300 million Muslims and for showing the West is the civilization and the East is the barbarism.
It is surprising that there are caricatures of Virgin Mary, as well as, against Jesus Christ everywhere. I believe that we do not have to attack religions, we have to respect them; we cannot draw caricatures of certain people when million and million of human beings worship their spirit. Maybe I, as an Orthodox Christian, also take offence when it is said that Jesus Christ is Jewish because it is widely known that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian who was born in Palestine. He belonged to an Aramean-Palestinian family. I believe that we should respect each other much more, especially when we speak of religion”.