A letter from the United Church of Canada

March 18, 2006


As Christians, who are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, we are grieved by the troubling unrest that has arisen because of the publications of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

We are aware of the complexity of the problems that have arisen in response to this unrest. We recognize four areas of difficulty that need immediate attention. These are:
issues of respect for religious beliefs,
mutual ignorance and fear of the other,
freedom of speech,
and journalistic ethics.

We grieve the violence worldwide and locally which has occuried, and is occurying because of these problems. As people who live in a diverse society, we call upon all people to begin a process of getting to know each other so that we can begin to move beyond ignorance and fear.

We celebrate the acts of good will by people of all faiths that have already been made in order to build bridges. We applaud the recent invitation extended by some Montreal Muslims to visit local Mosques.

We encourage all people to see this time of crisis as an opportunity to embrace the challenge to learn to live with respect in diversity.

For information on this statement contact the Montreal Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, at 514-931-6009 or mtlpres@on.aibn.com.

For the study document – “That We May Know Each Other - Toward a United Church of Canada understanding of the relationship between Christianity and Islam in the Canadian Context”

Rev. Martha Nell Thomson,
Committee on Muslim cartoon response

Press release (Doc format)