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The President Drnovšek is apologizing for the publication of Mohammed's caricatures

Ljubljana, 02/10/2006  |  press release, statement

At my yesterday's press conference I commented the strong protests of the Muslims against the publication of the cartoons in some European media. I said that the European politicians should have apologized on behalf of their states for the published caricatures that had upset the Muslim world so strongly. The Muslims take their religion very seriously and such an act represents to the them the offence of something the most sacred.

Today I was told that the Slovenian weekly Mladina had published the caricature from the Danish newspaper. It was a wrong thing to do. Especially because it is evident how deeply the Muslims are hurt and how strong their reactions are. There are not few who speak about the conflict of civilizations. I was even more astonished over this because of the fact that during the last weeks we have been focusing all our energy into the solution of a humanitarian tragedy and into putting an end to the armed conflicts in Darfur. We have been negotiating this issue intensively with the Sudan government and the representatives of the resistance forces in Darfur. Sudan, however, is a predominantly Muslim country and also there the protests against the countries where the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed had been published broke out. And how can we now accomplish the mediatory task? We have already reached the agreement with the president of Sudan to come to Slovenia and to sign the peace treaty. Now we are witnessing the complications. In this conflict situation between the Muslim world and Europe it is not easy for him to attain the mediatory role and to come to Slovenia. And, considering the fact that the caricatures were published here as well, makes this almost impossible.

This is why I am going to do what I expected from the other European politicians to do.

I apologize on behalf of the Slovenian state and on behalf of European civilization for the publication of Mohammed's caricatures. The freedom of the press does by no means excuse the offence of religious feelings of more than billions of Muslims. We have to respect each other, we have to respect each other's religion and habits. This is the only way enabling us to live peacefully along with each other on the globe. Otherwise the hatred and violence will flare out and the ruin of millions of people is imminent. There will be noone, who could sit safely in an armchair and insult other, different people.
in Arabian language (pdf format) >>>10-02-2006_PRESS-R.pdf