Offended in their religious feelings (October 18 2012) Offended in their religious feelings (October 18 2012)

Jorge Sampaio the 73 year old Portuguese former President and now the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations claims ‘All citizens should have the right not to be gratuitously offended in their religious feelings’ in an article published on Aljazeera titled ‘Wake up call to speak out for our common values and rights’. Sampaio states “The indignation that has flared up in so many countries against a provocative video, produced in murky circumstances and aimed at offending one group’s religious beliefs, is legitimate and fully understandable.  No believer, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish, to mention only the religions of the Book – is ready to accept indecent attacks on matters they hold sacred. …it is important to recognise that one person’s contemptible actions do not represent an entire nation, or everyone in a particular group or of a certain faith. Here, I must emphasise the crucial responsibility that falls on political and religious leaders to speak out to their constituencies, urging them to be mindful of this fact.  … In democratic societies and increasingly all over the world, people are free to voice their rights. Let’s join all our voices and work together to address in an appropriate way the alarming rise of extremism, religious hatred and hate speech, all of which undermine people’s expectations of a better life in dignity, freedom and security. We need to be bold and take action urgently to turn the possibility of living together in diversity, dialogue, respect and peace into reality.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Wikipedia