GENEVA, Sept 24 (KUNA) -- On behalf of Arab and Islamic countries, the
State of Kuwait demanded Switzerland take action and support efforts at the
United Nations to criminalize defamation of prophets and religions, after
repeated acts of offense against the Prophet Mohammad and Islam without much
repercussion or punishment.
This came during a meeting Monday morning which gathered the Kuwaiti
Ambassador to Switzerland and dean of the diplomatic corps in the country Dr.
Suhail Khalil Shehaibar and the Saudi Ambassador and dean of the Islamic
countries group Hazim Karktli, among other diplomats, with Switzerland's
Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and North Africa Amadeus Brulhart.
"In our discussions with our host, we stressed that in a world which
champions individual and civilian rights, first and foremost freedom of
expression and of religious belief, we have no deterrents to defamation of
religious figures and religions or protection against insulting religious
sensitivities and sentiment.
"This is why, day after day, we see people making light of abusing prophets
and faiths without any fear of consequence, we explained," said the ambassador.
"We accordingly demanded more effort be exerted at the United Nations to
criminalize any such abuse and we asked for the Swiss Federation's support in
this regard during the 67th UN General Assembly, currently in session in New
York, as soon as the relevant documents are ready in their final draft text."
Dr. Shehaibar said the Swiss side showed complete understanding of the Arab
and Islamic view, and the assistant secretary said his government is willing
to consider any proposal the Arab and Islamic group wishes to put before the
UN assembly and take appropriate measures.(end)
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