Predlog resolucije - B6-0140/2006Predlog resolucije
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to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Francis Wurtz and Willy Meyer Pleite
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on the right to freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs

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European Parliament resolution on the right to freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Joint Statement by the Secretary-General of the UN, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy expressing their understanding of the deep hurt and widespread indignation felt in the Muslim world, but condemning the recent violent acts against foreign diplomatic missions,

–  having regard to the Barcelona Declaration of 27-28 November 1995, reconfirmed by the Heads of State and Government in Barcelona in November 2005,

–  having regard to Articles 19, 28 and 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), on freedom of expression,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the publication in Denmark of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed and their subsequent republication in European daily press has led to numerous demonstrations and outbreaks of violent protest,

B.  whereas the European Union has undertaken to promote integration and non‑discrimination,

C.  whereas freedom of expression and freedom of thought must be respected,

D.  reaffirming the necessity to uphold and respect freedom of conscience and freedom of religion,

1.  Is alarmed at the repercussions of the publication in Denmark of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed and their subsequent republication by some other European newspapers, which was perceived by a great part of the Muslim world as an act of unjustified aggression;

2.  Points out that the caricatures came at a time marked by the war in Iraq, the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the continuous escalation of threats against the Arab world, which has ignited sensibilities;

3.  Condemns any provocation leading to conflict and distrust between people of different cultures and religions;

4.  Condemns the violent escalation of the protests;

5.  Expresses its opposition to any attempts to misuse the current situation to create barriers and cultural clashes between people where none existed before;

6.  Notes that freedom of expression must be guaranteed in all countries of the world, and that everyone who exercises it has duties and responsibilities;

7.  Calls on all supporters of peaceful and mutually respectful coexistence and dialogue to do their utmost to calm the crisis and distance themselves from the forces trying to turn this situation into a war between civilisations and religions;

8.  Calls on the European Union and its Member States to promote policies at all levels aimed at tackling the phenomena of xenophobia and racism, as well as promoting understanding, equality, tolerance, integration and, especially, respect for all cultures and religions;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.