Saturday, October 21, 2006

THE PR WAR AGAINST TRUTH AND LEARNING    Two versions of Egyptian President Mubarak's speech.

From Middle East Online,this rallying cry.
HEADLINE: Mubarak: Islam under 'ferocious attack'
SUB-HEAD: Egypt President calls for united response to offences to Islam, urges Muslims to correct wrong image.

CAIRO - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday that Islam was under "ferocious attack" and called for a united response to offences to the religion.

"The Islamic world is facing a ferocious attack, painting Islam wrongly, offending Islam," Mubarak said at speech to mark the Muslim night of Leilat al-Qadr, the night the Koran is said to have come to the Prophet Mohammed.

"Arab and Islamic identity are under threat, following what happened and still happens in Lebanon, Iraq, the occupied territories and Afghanistan," he said.

"There is a need now, more than ever, to rally the efforts of the Islamic world and its people, to have one voice in the face of offence," he said.

Mubarak called on Muslims to "correct the wrong image and show the real face of Islam".

"We tell the world that Islam forbade racism and extremism. Nazism and fascism were not born on Muslim land," he said.

In August, US President George W. Bush said that a foiled bomb plot in London showed that the United States was still "at war with Islamic fascists."

"We do not accept offence to our holy beliefs with the excuse of freedom of opinion, expression or the press," Mubarak said.

"Insulting our beliefs increases feelings of anger and extremism and drags us all down dangerous slopes."

Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed which were published in a Danish newspaper a year ago, and Pope Benedict XVI's speech in September in which he quoted a medieval Byzantine emperor who linked Islam with violence sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.

But Mubarak also called for introspection.

"It is time for an honest stand with the world, and a stand no less honest with ourselves," he said.

"Do we not, as Muslims, bear some of the responsibility for some of the wrong ideas about Islam, have we played our role in improving its image?," he said calling for a new religious dialogue based on "mutual respect."
The Associated Press story, however, shows signs that it was massaged by a PR consultant. Totally missing was this introspection obviously meant for European audiences as reported by the (New York Times-owned) International Herald -Tribune.
Mubarak said the golden age of Islamic civilization had retreated when creativity in Islam disappeared and people strayed away from the essence of the doctrine.

"We need a new religious approach that teaches people the correct things in their religion that gives greater value for interrelations, behavior, devotion and advocates principles of forgiveness and stands against exaggeration and extremism," he said.
Typically, we are supposed to accept the lack of a transcript of the speech.  

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