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  • 1. TEXT 1[…] From Northern Ireland to South Asia; from Africa to the Americas; from the Balkans to the PacificRim, weve witnessed convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order. At times, theconflicts arise along the fault lines of faith, race or tribe; and often they arise from the difficulties ofreconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In everycountry, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who lovefreedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outragethroughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to dowith this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. Itis an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear,we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims whoworship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protectindividuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand whypeople take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.I know there are some who ask why we dont just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in ourlaws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countlesspublications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not banblasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will alwaysdefend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of allpeople to express their views – even views that we disagree with.We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that withoutsuch protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their ownfaith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can becomea tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives,and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech isnot repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, andlift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.
  • 2. TEXT 2The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) strongly condemns the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s publicationof outrageous cartoons insulting Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), which represents a newassault against Islam and Muslims.The FJP urges the French government to take stern and speedy action against this magazine, whichviolated the sanctity of religions and religious symbols, especially since the French judiciary has takenclear steps against a magazine that published photos offensive to Catherine Middleton, British Duchess ofCambridge, Prince William’s wife, and since it also holds a strict position against denying the Holocaust.The FJP points to the significance of timing publication of these utterly crude and offensive caricatures,days after the American anti-Islam film also insulting the Prophet (PBUH).Are there hidden hands manipulating the West to provoke Arab and Muslim peoples who have just begunwinning their freedoms from corrupt authoritarian regimes?Once again, the FJP calls upon the international community, the United Nations and its organizations, toexpedite the adoption of an international convention to protect religious symbols and sanctities againstsuch twisted intellectual extremism and perversion that incite hatred, confrontation and violence.The FJP urges international institutions, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Arab League, theOrganization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as associations and institutions concerned with civil libertiesand the protection of international peace and security to take the necessary legal steps to address theseabuses that incite hatred and provoke millions of Muslims.
  • 3. TEXT 3The online presence of the anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims" continues to giverise to blocking of YouTube, legal actions against it, and blocking of Internet andmobile phone services.One of the latest cases was in Brazil, where a São Paulo court yesterday orderedGoogle to withdraw a YouTube video containing scenes from the US-produced film,announcing that it would be fined 10,000 reals (4,950 dollars) a day if it failed tocomply within 10 days.The order was the result of a complaint by the National Islamic Union (UNI) accusingGoogle of posting an "offensive" video that violated the "constitutional right tofreedom of religion." The court rejected the UNI’s request for measures to preventthese videos being posted on YouTube again.In Turkey, the communication ministry announced today that legal proceedings havebeen just been started with the aim of removing videos showing the film from certainURLs. The authorities also asked Google to remove the film’s trailer from YouTube.The ministry said the aim was to suppress the links that give access to the videos ofthe film, rather than ban the sites offering the videos.In Sudan, the National Communications Corporation has blocked access to YouTubesince 15 September. A local source told Reporters Without Borders the governmentwas using the offending video as a pretext for blocking a website used by manySudanese dissidents to circulate information about corruption and human rightsabuses, and calls for political reforms.In India, the government of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir has suspendedaccess to the Internet and mobile phone services in the Kashmir valley since midnighton 20 September in anticipation of protests against the video.The government ordered telecommunications services and Internet Service Providersto do whatever was necessary to ensure that their customers could not access theanti-Islamic video. To this end, the home affairs department used powers undersection 5 (2) of the 1885 Indian Telegraph Act.In Egypt, Coptic Christian blogger Albert Saber Ayyad was arrested at his Cairo homeon 13 September after a neighbour accused him of being the administrator of anatheist group onFacebook. His laptop was confiscated. He is accused of posting a clipfrom the anti-Islamic video on the Internet and on Facebook.When his trial opened today, he pleaded not guilty to charges of blasphemy, insultingreligion and inciting sedition. He is facing up to five years in prison on the blasphemycharge under article 98 of the Egypt’s criminal code.