Support for four-point plan on peaceful Islamic protest
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed support from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for a four-point invitation to Islamic peoples to peacefully respond to things they considered disrespectful or blasphemous.
Senator Carr discussed the four-point invitation in a 90-minute meeting with Minister Fabius at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris.
The meeting took place on the same day that France ordered the temporary closure of 20 Middle East embassies following publication of anti-Islamic cartoons in a French satirical magazine.
Senator Carr said he could understand that many Muslims considered this material blasphemous but urged them to respond peacefully.
Senator Carr said they should be invited to do so by:
• funding explanations of Islam in western languages;
• producing formal online responses to anti-Islamic material;
• funding institutes which promote tolerant Islam through teaching publications and seminars; and
• using available legal avenues.
“All these responses would be more satisfactory than demonstrations which can be captured by extremists,” Senator Carr said.
“Demonstrations can bring out the worst, and as we saw in Australia they can produce understandable outrage from the rest of the community.
“The alternative is peaceful engagement.
“I welcome the support for our plan received today from my colleague Minister Fabius.”