Muhammad cartoon row intensifies

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Muhammad cartoon row intensifies

Postby Bluntasaspoon on Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:00 pm

<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4670370.stm">news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4670370.stm</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br>
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Muhammad cartoon row intensifies <br>
Newspapers across Europe have reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to show support for a Danish paper whose cartoons have sparked Muslim outrage. <br>
Seven publications in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain all carried some of the drawings. <br>
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Their release in Denmark has led to protests in Arab nations, diplomatic sanctions and death threats. <br>
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Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet, but media watchdogs defend press freedom to publish the images. <br>
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Reporters Without Borders said the reaction in the Arab world "betrays a lack of understanding" of press freedom as "an essential accomplishment of democracy." <br>
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'Spiting Muslims' <br>
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France Soir and Germany's Die Welt are among the leading papers to reprint the cartoons, which first appeared in Denmark last September. <br>
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CARTOON ROW <br>
30 Sept: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten publishes cartoons <br>
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors in Denmark complain to Danish PM <br>
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons <br>
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador <br>
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office <br>
31 Jan: Danish paper apologises <br>
1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons <br>
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The caricatures include drawings of Muhammad wearing a headdress shaped like a bomb, while another shows him saying that paradise was running short of virgins for suicide bombers. <br>
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In Berlin, Die Welt argued there was a right to blaspheme in the West, and asked whether Islam was capable of coping with satire. <br>
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"The protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they were less hypocritical," it wrote in an editorial. <br>
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La Stampa in Italy, El Periodico in Spain and Dutch paper Volkskrank also carried some of the drawings, while France Soir reprinted the full set. <br>
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It did so to show "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society, the paper said. <br>
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European Muslims spoke out against the pictures. <br>
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The president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Dalil Boubakeur, described France Soir's move as an act of "real provocation towards the millions of Muslims living in France". <br>
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In Germany, the vice-chairman of the central council of Muslims said Muslims would be deeply offended. <br>
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"It was done not to defend freedom of the press, but to spite the Muslims," Mohammad Aman Hobohm said. <br>
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Sanctions <br>
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Correspondents say the European papers' actions have widened a dispute which has grown very serious for Denmark. <br>
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ART AND BLASPHEMY CHARGES <br>
1989: Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemy in his book The Satanic Verses <br>
2002: Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel's article about Prophet and Miss World contestants sparks deadly riots <br>
2004: Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh killed after release of his documentary about violence against Muslim women <br>
2005: London's Tate Britain museum cancels plans to display sculpture by John Latham for fear of offending Muslims after July bombings <br>
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The publication last September in Jyllands-Posten has provoked diplomatic sanctions and threats from Islamic militants across the Muslim world. <br>
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Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller has postponed a trip to Africa because of the dispute. <br>
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Thousands of Palestinians protested against Denmark this week, and Arab ministers called on it to punish Jyllands-Posten. <br>
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Syria and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors to Denmark, while Libya said it was closing its embassy in Copenhagen and Iraq summoned the Danish envoy to condemn the cartoons. <br>
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The Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla Foods says its sales in the Middle East have plummeted to zero as a result of the row, which sparked a boycott of Danish products across the region. <br>
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The offices of Jyllands-Posten had to be evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb threat. <br>
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The paper had apologised a day earlier for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintained it was legal under Danish law to print them. <br>
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Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the paper's apology, but defended the freedom of the press. <br>
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Story from BBC NEWS:<br>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 670370.stm
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Published: 2006/02/01 22:31:23 GMT<br>
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© BBC MMVI<br>
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