30 June 2012
For three days, leaders, experts and representatives of different religious denominations coming from America, Spain and Portugal met in Barcelona.
The Director General of Religious Affairs has emphasized in his speech “the ability to dialogue and listening and the importance of interreligious dialogue.” In the closing ceremony was also discussed and approved a document called the Barcelona Declaration which will be given to the heads of states participating in Cadiz, in November at the XII Iberian-American Summit.
Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, tonight warned broadcasters against becoming overly-cautious in their reporting on Islam for fear of causing offence to Muslims. Speaking at Westminster Cathedral Mr Thompson, a practising Catholic, said there was a growing nervousness about discussion about Islam and its relationship to the traditions and values of British and Western society as a whole. He said that the BBC and other major channels have a special responsibility to ensure that debates about faith and society and about any religion should not be foreclosed or censored. In an effort to demonstrate that his remarks were not targeted solely at ensuring that Islam received journalistic scrutiny, Mr Thompson also referring to his decision to broadcast Jerry Springer, The Opera despite an avalanche of complaints from Christians unhappy at the depiction of Jesus in the satire. There is no point having a BBC which isn’t prepared to stand up and be counted; which will do everything it can to mitigate potential religious offence; but which will always be forthright in the defence of freedom of speech and of impartiality, he said. Dan Sabbagh reports.