Saturday, February 11, 2006

President's article in Herald Tribune on Danish cartoon

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono writes in International Herald Tribune an article titled Let's try to get beyond caricatures, published on Friday, February 10 as part of his effort to reduce the tension following the publication and reprinting of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad, first published in Denmark in September 2005.

The President wrote,
The international community must work together to put out this fire. A good start would be to stop justifying the cartoons as "freedom of the press," which only hardens the Muslim community's response. Another vital step would be to discontinue their reproduction, which only prolongs the outrage.

He follows with appeals to the West and non-Muslim,

The West and Islam need not collide in a clash of civilizations. Many Islamic communities comfortably embrace some Western habits.

The international community must not come out of the cartoon crisis broken and divided. We need to build more bridges between religions, civilizations and cultures.

And appeals to Muslim,

Muslims around the world also have responsibilities. No one - certainly not Muslims - will be better off if the current crisis descends into open conflict and more bloodshed. The best way for Muslims to fight intolerance and ignorance toward Islam is by tirelessly reaching out to non-Muslims and projecting Islam as a peaceful religion. We also need to be forgiving to those who have sincerely apologized for offending Islam.

Well, reaching out and forgiving are two words that easy to say. Today, former Army Chief of Staff General (Ret) Tyasno Sudarto joined a protest organized by Hizbut Tahir in Jakarta. As reported by, Tyasno urged government to strongly condemn the cartoon publication.
Hizbut Tahir said a simple apology is not enough to end the crisis. The organization wants death penalty according to Sharia Law be implemented on the cartoonist and publishers.

Mr President, would be great if you could write in Indonesian media as well! I could help the translation if you want, for free!



Blogger Cay said...

Strange but true, now I'm holding a copy of International Herald Tribune, 10 Feb 2006, but I can't find any reference at all to the article. Does it only appear on the web version? If it is, then the impact may not as widespread as we have expected.

February 12, 2006 8:16 AM  

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