NewsSpecial WireMany Muslims ignore Iran’s incitement over cartoons

Many Muslims ignore Iran’s incitement over cartoons

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Feb. 19 – An attempt by Iran’s radical theocratic government to organise an international conference of Islamist parties in Tehran to adopt a unanimous position on the publication of cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad may have to be put off due to lack of interest from political parties across the Muslim world. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 19 – An attempt by Iran’s radical theocratic government to organise an international conference of Islamist parties in Tehran to adopt a unanimous position on the publication of cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad may have to be put off due to lack of interest from political parties across the Muslim world.

Iran invited a total of 149 various political parties in Muslim countries to take part in its “Global Conference of Parties from Islamic States”.

The event was billed by Iran’s state-run media as a major international response to the “blasphemous, Islamophobic moves of Western governments”. A draft resolution prepared by the organisers included references to Iran’s nuclear stand-off with the West and declared support for the Islamic Republic.

Contrary to their expectation, the organisers have not heard from the vast majority of the invitees. Up until now, only three parties from Algeria have signed up for the conference, despite the extensive advertisement that has been carried out and the huge cost that comes with it.

The event has had to been postponed several times due to lack of interest.

Twelve parties were invited to take part in the conference from Pakistan, eight from Bangladesh, seven from Turkey, five from Indonesia, five from Algeria, four from India, three from Albania, two from Tunisia, two from Kyrgyzstan, two from Sudan, one from Syria, one from Morocco, and 55 from Afghanistan.

“Iran has many surrogates among the Islamist political parties in the Muslim world”, Naji al-Tufaili, a Lebanese Shiite political commentator said in a telephone interview in Cairo. “But this time, the Iranian leaders felt the worldwide row over the cartoons provided an opportunity for them to appeal to Islamist parties that have not been in their sphere of influence. They failed, because these parties could clearly see that Iran was trying to make political capital for itself out of religious sentiments of the Muslims”.

Syrian and Turkish parties have said they would be willing to participate if the event was not called an “Islamic” conference.

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