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 Thursday, February 02, 2006

European Newspapers Courting Reprisals from Angry Muslims Around the World


  • Some twenty armed Palestinian scaled the walls of the EU offices in the Gaza Strip on Thursday."Every Norwegian, Dane and Frenchman in our country is a target," said the Popular Resistance Committee and the radical Al-Aqsa brigades. If the three countries in question don't shut down their offices and consulates in the Palestinian territories, "we won't hesitate to destroy them." Read here for more

  • AFGHANISTAN strongly condemned the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in European newspapers and said the cartoons would give ammunition to those intent on disrupting international relations.In neighbouring Pakistan, about 400 Islamic school students set fire to French and Danish flags and chanted slogans in the central city of Multan to protest against publication of the cartoons. Read here for more

  • Le Monde in Paris ran a sketch of a man whose beard and turban were made up of lines saying "I must not draw Mohammad".Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef said Riyadh considered the cartoons an insult to Mohammad and all Muslims. "We hope that religious centres like the Vatican will clarify their opinion in this respect," he told the state news agency SPA.Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Mohammad, had recalled their ambassador to Denmark.Read here for more

    Other Related News
  • The editor of a French newspaper that printed a cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad on its front page has been sacked for offending Muslims. Jacques Lefranc was dismissed by the owner of France Soir, as his paper became embroiled in a developing row between Muslims and European press. Read here for more

  • Indonesia has joined the chorus of condemnations about the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in caricatures published by a Danish newspaper last year.Read here for more

  • Syria has recalled its ambassador from Denmark over cartoons that have caused uproar among Muslims the state news agency said on Wednesday.Read here for more

  • Read here original article by Molly Moore "Offending Cartoons Reprinted by
    European Dailies
    in Washington Post

    Newspapers across Europe reprinted cartoons Wednesday ridiculing the prophet Muhammad, saying they wanted to support the right of Danish and Norwegian papers to publish the caricatures, which have ignited fury among Muslims throughout the world.

    Islam considers any artistic renditions of Muhammad blasphemous.

    Germany's Die Welt daily newspaper published one of the drawings on its front page and said the "right to blasphemy" is one of the freedoms of democracy.

    The French afternoon newspaper France Soir front-page headline, accompanied by a new cartoon depicting religious figures from the Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Christian faiths on a cloud, declared:
    "Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God."
    The Christian is shown saying, "Don't complain, Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here."

    France Soir paper wrote:
    "The appearance of 12 drawings in the Danish press provoked emotions in the Muslim world because the representation of Allah and his prophet is forbidden.

    But because no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society, France Soir is publishing the incriminating caricatures."
    Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, said the French newspaper's decision to publish the offensive cartoons was an act of "real provocation towards the millions of Muslims living in France."

    A French theologian Sohaib Bencheikh admonished:
    "One must find the borders between freedom of expression and freedom to protect the sacred.

    Unfortunately, the West has lost its sense of the sacred."

    Italy's La Stampa newspaper and the daily El Periodico in Spain also published some of the drawings Wednesday.

    In many Muslim nations, English-language newspapers are so reverential that any mention of his name is followed by the letters PBUH, for "peace be upon him."

    Outrage over the appearance of the cartoons in Danish and Norwegian newspapers -- one of which depicted Muhammad as an apparent terrorist with a bomb in his turban -- has ignited demonstrations from Turkey to the Gaza Strip, prompted a boycott of Danish products throughout the Middle East, and spurred calls for a religious decree to attack Danish troops serving in Iraq.

    The conservative Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, which first published the caricatures in September, this week apologized for offending Muslims but defended its right to publish the cartoons. Two offices of the newspaper were evacuated this week after receiving bomb threats.

    Three weeks ago, a small, evangelical Christian newspaper in Norway, Magazinet, reprinted the cartoons.

    Government ministers from 17 Arab nations have asked the Danish government to punish the Jyllands-Posten newspaper for what they called an "offense to Islam."

    The French-based Carrefour grocery chain pulled Danish products from its shelves in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar in response to a boycott the company said was costing it $2.4 million a day, about 8 percent of its global revenue.

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