Muslim leaders call for anti-hate laws

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iol news pic Mideast Egypt Islamic Summit

AP

In this image released by the Egyptian Presidency, Mohammed Morsi, center, confers with others attending the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Muslim leaders, ending a major summit in Cairo, called for the world to adopt anti-hate legislation to fight Islamophobia. (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

Cairo - Muslim leaders, ending a major summit in Cairo, Thursday called for the world to adopt anti-hate legislation to fight Islamophobia.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr urged for an end to “fierce attacks on Islam and Muslims under the pretext of freedom of expression.”

The call comes four months after violent protests erupted across the Muslim world against an anti-Islam video privately produced in the United States.

Amr said at a press conference that the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian Territories, including what he called “ongoing attacks on Muslim and Christian holy places and the cutting off of the city of Jerusalem.”

The two-day gathering also called for “an immediate stop to the violence, bloodshed and the systematic violations of human rights” in Syria, Amr said.

Syria did not attend the summit as the OIC suspended its membership last year to protest President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on an anti-government uprising that started nearly two years ago.

The summit expressed support for Malian authorities in ensuring their country's territorial integrity and fighting al-Qaeda-linked Islamist extremists.

A final statement issued at the end of the conference said the conferees “firmly condemned the acts of diverse terrorist groups and movements, and commended the various prompt assistance provided by brotherly and friendly governments at the request of the Malian authorities.”

France began airstrikes against Islamist insurgents in Mali in January, after they began advancing south toward the capital Bamako from their northern strongholds.

French and Malian forces have driven the rebels out of the main urban areas they had controlled for nine months, but the insurgents remain active in the desert hinterland.

The summit also elected Iyad Madani, an ex-Saudi information minister, to take over from Turkey's Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as secretary general of the OIC.

The 57-member OIC is the Muslim world's biggest bloc. The summit was its first in Egypt since the organization was created in 1969.

Twenty-five heads of state, including Iranian and Turkish president, attended. Sapa-dpa


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