The head of a leading Islamic organization Saturday called for a global ban on offending the character of the Prophet Muhammad, saying that it should be equated with hate speech.

Such a ban would demonstrate how an interconnected world respected different cultural sensitivities, said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in an interview with The Associated Press.

“If the Western world fails to understand the sensitivity of the Muslim world, then we are in trouble,” Ihsanoglu said. Such provocations pose “a threat to international peace and security and the sanctity of life.”

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