White House Spokesman Urges Muslims to Speak Out "Against All Forms of Hate Speech"

February 6, 2006

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AFP


On February 6, 2006 Agence France-Presse reported, "The United States urged Muslims angered by newspaper cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed to also condemn frequent anti-Semitic and anti-Christian 'hate speech' in the Islamic world. White House spokesman Scott McClellan denounced escalating violence over the drawings, which Muslims say are blasphemous, and urged governments and demonstrators to defuse tensions with 'constructive dialogue.' 'We would also urge people who are criticizing these cartoons to speak out forcefully against all forms of hate speech, including cartoons and articles throughout parts of the Arab world, which frequently espouse anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views,' McClellan told reporters... 'Those who disagree with the views that were expressed certainly have the right to condemn them, but they should be peaceful,' he said. 'There should be a constructive and peaceful dialogue that emphasizes respect for all religious faiths.' Global protests over the cartoons escalated Monday, with a total of five people killed in protests in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Syria, and warning shots fired outside a US consulate in Indonesia. 'We condemn acts of violence wherever they occur in relation to the concerns over these cartoons. And that's why we urge all governments to take steps to lower tensions and prevent violence. And that includes against diplomatic premises, and against businesses and individuals,' said McClellan."