Position of the Palestinian Non Governmental Organisations’ Network (PNGO)
– on Threats made by Palestinian Groups against Scandinavians Resident in Palestine as a Result of the Caricature Depiction of Prophet Mohammed (PBUN)
PNGO February 4, 2006
PNGO wishes to express its regret that caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon Him) originally published in the Danish daily newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in September 2005, reprinted in a Norwegian weekly, Magnizet, in January 2006 and, subsequently in French, Belgian, Jordanian, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and Irish newspapers in the past few days, were printed in the first instance.
PNGO is of the view that the editors of these publications should have exercised better judgment and shown restraint with respect to their decisions to publish these caricatures which are widely regarded as racist and offensive to Muslims the world over.
However, PNGO also strongly condemns the attendant actions members of these militant groups have taken in reaction to these insensitive and blasphemous cartoons, including the kidnapping of a German teacher in Nablus, the forced closures of representative offices, diplomatic offices and foreign ministries in Gaza and the West Bank, the invasion of West Bank hotels by masked gunmen in search of foreigners to take hostage and threats to forcibly close international media offices and to harm Internationals, including aid workers and journalists, currently working and residing in Palestine unless they leave the West Bank and Gaza in the next few days.
PNGO demands that the Palestinian Authority brings an immediate end to these militant groups’ threats of physical retribution and their calls for Internationals to vacate Palestine. These are contrary what we are renowned for – our hospitable culture and customs.
PNGO endorses the fundamental democratic right of freedom of expression, as long as it is exercised within the Rule of Law and responsibly.
The Palestinian Non Governmental Organisations’ Network (PNGO)