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70 deputies urge gov't to 'strongly' condemn Charlie Hebdo cartoon

By Raed Omari - Jan 18,2015 - Last updated at Jan 18,2015

AMMAN — Around half of the 150-member Lower House on Sunday called on the government to issue a strongly worded statement condemning the publication of an “offensive cartoon” depicting Prophet Mohammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

A memorandum signed by 70 MPs also urged the government to send boldly worded letters of condemnation to countries where media outlets have republished the “insulting” caricature with no regard or respect for the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims across the world.

The signatories also called on the government to summon the ambassadors of these countries to convey Jordan’s objection to the “frequent insults” to Prophet Mohammad.

“We demand that the government coordinate with the governments of Arab and Muslim states to build a collective firm stance that defends the symbol of Islam and then pushes for a UN resolution that bans insulting prophets and religious symbols.”

In the memo, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, the MPs also called for an “emergency” Lower House session to form a “strong and decisive” position on the “Western insults” against Prophet Mohammad, describing such mission as a “sacred duty”.

They also called on media outlets to shoulder their responsibilities in defending the prophet through editorials, columns and news stories, and in hosting scholars to defend him through textual evidence and scientific argumentation that clarify the true essence of Islam.

Charlie Hebdo’s publishing of the cartoon sparked anger in Jordan as well as other countries.

Last week, the Royal Court issued a statement condemning the weekly magazine’s “irresponsible” publishing of the abusive cartoons, describing the act as being far from the essence of freedom of expression, which is founded on principles of responsibility and respect for religions.

Over 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Amman on Friday in protest against the new cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammad. 

The Jordan Press Association, lawmakers and political parties have also issued statements slamming the publication of the cartoon.

The cover-page cartoon of Prophet Mohammad carried by Charlie Hebdo last Wednesday, in its first edition since an attack on its Paris offices claimed by Al Qaeda killed 12 people on January 7, has sparked similar protests across the Muslim world, according to Agence France-Presse. 

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