From Indonesian Government Portal


Freedom of expression, toleration, and regulation on law are a healthy combination for a good democracy. Democracy in many countries is balanced between respecting to human right and the freedom of respecting the right to refuse discrimination.

“I deeply respect the journalists due to their contribution in creating democratization. Currently, the freedom to talk and freedom of media have reached Indonesia,” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said when he opened Global Inter-Media Dialogue in Sheraton Lagoon Hotel in Nusa Dua Bali, Saturday (2/8) morning.

According to President, idea to hold the Inter-Media Dialogue program came along with the crisis of caricature case on the Prophet Mohammad at the early 2006. The case then developed into a bigger one, namely the media role in the world in frame of promoting freedom of speaking, tolerance and peace. “Moslem Community all over the world assumed that West medias are not sensitive and they apprehensive the loading of caricature of the Prophet Muhammad repeatedly by some medias.

Meanwhile, the West journalists are not aware that the loading of caricature of the Prophet Mohammad is forbidden in Islam,” President continued.
President added that the clearest issue of the caricature of the Prophet Mohammad case is how the media react in the edge sensitivity of culture and religion. ”In my article on The International Herald Tribune, I emphasized the importance to promote a freedom in democracy and tolerance. It is not freedom to fight the tolerance,” President said in front of 72 participants from 44 countries.

As a Leader of the biggest Moslem country in the world, President assessed there is a sense among Moslem community in which they are not treated fairly by international media. “When some non-Moslem people were killed in war, West media stated that there were more killed people in the world rather than in Palestine, Iraq or Lebanon,” President said.

“Moslem Community in the world does not ask special treatment. They just ask to be respected, same as those given to other religion communities. As it is said by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, we believe that the freedom of press relates to responsibility and we have to respect the belief of all religions,” he added.

Press has been the important part in deploying knowledge and values. “Without you, there will be more darkness and carelessness in the world. Besides that, press also has an important role as observer of the government and other authority institutions. When medias coming from various cultural background are gathered and learn each other, not only media gaining benefit from the event, but also wide community,” President said.
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