Porto Alegre, Brazil
The World Council of Churches has deplored the publication of cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, and urged its members to join in non-violent protests with those experiencing attacks on their religion.
“Misuse of the right to freedom of speech should be met with non-violent means like critique and expressions of firm disagreement,” the WCC’s assembly stated in a resolution.
It urged its more than 340 member churches and other partners, “to express and demonstrate solidarity to those who are experiencing attacks on their religion and join them in defending the integrity of their faith by non-violent means.”
The assembly noted, “Freedom of speech is indeed a fundamental human right, which needs to be guaranteed and protected. It is both a right and a responsibility.” Still, “By the publication of the cartoons, freedom of speech has been used to cause pain by ridiculing peoples’ religion, values and dignity.”
Muslims across the globe have protested, sometimes violently, against the cartoons which they say are a blasphemy because they carried an image of Muhammad.