Poland's Catholic-Muslim council condemns hate speech
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's Common Council of Catholics and Muslims have condemned hate speech in a joint declaration as part of the 16th Day of Islam in the Catholic Church.
The XVI Day of Islam in the Catholic Church. From left: Mufti of Poland Tomasz Miśkiewicz, Archbishop Henryk Hoser and Bishop Marek Solarczyk. Photo: Facebook/Bp Marek Solarczyk
“There have been attacks in our country recently on both Muslim places of worship and on people with darker skin colour [than ethnic Poles], and negative comments about Muslims have been made in reference to the debate on refugees,” the declaration noted.
“Such negative phenomena violate the principles of good neighbourly relations, create an atmosphere of distrust, and likewise violate the right to religious freedom in Poland.
“The Council firmly condemns hate speech and takes the view that places of worship of all religions should be treated with respect.”
Tuesday's meeting at Warsaw's St. Florian's Cathedral was attended by figures including Archbishop Henryk Hoser and Bishop Marek Solarczyk (both of the Praga diocese that hosted the event) and Mufti of Poland Tomasz Miśkiewicz.
Speaking generally of the situation of Muslims in the world today, Miśkiewicz commented that “we are viewed badly and when immigrants are discussed everyone is tarred with the same brush.”
Meanwhile, he noted that “if we are in a European country, one must also respect European culture, the majority Christian culture.”
He argued that this has been successful in the case of Poland's centuries-old Tatar community, of which he is a member. Many Poles have Tatar ancestors, including the late Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz and internationally renowned sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz.
All in all, it is estimated that up to 25,000 Muslims currently live in Poland, including Tatars, foreign students, businessmen and Chechen refugees. (nh/pk)