The Clash of Caricatures
"The reactions to the negative depictions of the prophet Muhammad in the European press have fanned the flames of dangerous stereotyping. The European right and Islamist fundamentalists use the controversy to promote cartoonish depictions of each other that fuel their political agendas. Instead of deepening the divide, Europe’s leaders should reach out to moderate Muslims for practical ways to heal the wounds. "
"Instead of humiliating Muslims and showing prejudice against Islam, a better approach is to strengthen the hand of moderate Muslims. Beyond soft diplomacy, the best way would be to support Turkey in its bid to join the EU. Many would regard such a step to be imprudent. But as a democratic and Muslim country, Turkey can play a special role. The Turks too have reacted in a level-headed manner to the current controversy. The Turkish government has made it clear that it sees no contradiction between the freedom of opinion and the respect of religious values. Turkey may still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to freedom of expression, but it is already proving to the world—and particularly to Europeans—that Islam and free speech are not mutually exclusive. By bringing Turkey into closer dialogue, Europe can bridge the divide between the Western and Muslim worlds."
Cem Özdemir was the first German of Turkish descent elected to the German Bundestag and is now a Green member of the European Parliament.
Nota : Negritos meus.