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Urgent press release

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1.  As a result of an offensive33published in the Mail and Guardian on the 21st  of May 2010, an urgent meeting was called at which the following organizations, representing the broader Muslim community , being:-

Jamiat ul Ulema
Channel Islam International
Muslim Judicial Council
Media Review Network
Jamiat Ul Ulema Gauteng
Sunni  Ulema Council of S.A.
Muslim Lawyers Association
 Muslim Students Association – Wits
Association of Muslim Accountants and Lawyers
Call of Islam
Jameah Mehmoodiya Springs
KZN Society for the protection of Human Rights
Jamiat ul Ulema KZN
Islamic Research Organisation
Radio Islam
Somali Association of S.A.
Saaberie Chisty
Darul Ihsaan
Al Ansaar Foundation

Which formed the United Muslim Forum of South Africa

2. The meeting appointed a committee to meet with representatives of the Mail and Guardian.

3. This meeting was held on 26th May 2010(11 Jumada al-Thani 1431 A.H.). The meeting, although addressing  very serious issues was conducted in a respectable and mature manner.

4. As a result of the meeting, attended by the Editor of Mail and Guardian, cartoonist Zapiro, and the CEO of the group, together with members of the United Muslim Forum of South Africa, the Mail and Guardian have agreed to issue a press release in which they record:-

a.    Mail and Guardian regrets the harm caused by the publication of the33and apologises for the effects thereof;
b.    Mail and Guardian record that they repudiate Isalmophobia in the strongest possible terms;
c.    Mail and Guardian record that they have learnt an enormous amount about the depth of reverence in which Muslims hold the Prophet Muhammad (saw);
d.    Mail and Guardian will commence reviewing their editorial policies on religious matters broadly and in particular the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed (saw) and will during this review period prohibit any representation of the Prophet (saw), and will consult with the Muslim community about this issue.
e.    Zapiro specifically regretted his association with Islamophobics / Facebook “Paint Muhammad day”

5.  We welcome the regret shown, apology issued, prohibition on publication and the review of the editorial process undertaking.

6.  We commend the Muslim community, for not over reacting, exercising restraint and behaving in a dignified and responsible manner as usual.

7.  We as Muslims are committed to editorial independence and press freedom, provided that it is exercised with due regard to common respect and human dignity.

Issued by the United Muslims Forum Of South Africa

Convener:  Zahid Asmal  0847868937

Spokespersons: Iqbal Jassat –  0835943749
                               Moulana Ebrahim Bham  – 0837862859