Card. Gracias: film anti-Muhammad inexcusable, but also violence
by Nirmala Carvalho
The president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) calls for dialogue and peace to stop the protests provoked by the film. Freedom of expression in the media is unquestionable, but it "should not be used to offend or ridicule others." A plea for tolerance and mutual understanding to all spiritual leaders, Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) -  The blasphemous film about Muhammad is an "unjustifiable" act, but "should not be fought with violence," rather "through dialogue and peace", says Card. Oswald Gracias, President of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), to AsiaNews commenting on the widening protests in several Muslim countries, which in some cases have culminated with the death and injury of innocent civilians. A few days ago, India witnessed demonstrations by the Muslim community, which, however, remained peaceful, thanks to the call for calm by local imams. The wave of violence began after the 11 September attacks at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi (Libya). In the attack, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his co-workers lost their lives.

Speaking of the film, Card. Gracias points out: "While the  media has freedom and we must respect the freedom of the press media and all freedoms must be used responsibly it is wrong to use the media to make fun or to denigrate something which is sacred to another person .  it is imperative, that we have to exercise  the sensitivity , care and  respect for the other especially religious beliefs, There are some boundaries which can never be crossed. "

At the same time, the cardinal added, " we decry Fundamentalism, Cardinal Oswald explains, " in the past, we have witnessed the havoc that can be wreaked by religious fundamentalisms Violence is totally against society and is harmful  and  inherently destructive." In this context, he explains, " Spiritual Leaders have an urgent role to play in calling for peace , understanding and calm."

The President of the CBCI then recalls " the Catholic Church's commitment to interreligious dialogue.  We share good harmonious and cordial relations with leaders of other faiths." He concluded: "My hope is that dialogue understanding tolerance harmony becomes the norm all over Christians, Muslims, and Hindus  and among themselves for the peaceful coexistence of peoples ".

 

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