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Danish Muslims Won't Be Provoked

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  • Zafar Khan
    Danish Muslims Won t Be Provoked By Nidal Abu Arif, IOL Correspondent Sun., Oct. 08, 2006 http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2006-10/08/01.shtml
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2006
      Danish Muslims Won't Be Provoked
      By Nidal Abu Arif, IOL Correspondent
      Sun., Oct. 08, 2006


      COPENHAGEN — Condemning new cartoons mocking Prophet
      Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Muslim
      leaders in Denmark said on Saturday, October 7, they
      will not be provoked by such a "childish manner," but
      will take an astute action against the insult by the
      anti-immigrant Danish People's Party (DPP).

      "Against the background of the problems earlier, we
      have to address the issue astutely," Ahmed Abu-Laban,
      a Copenhagen imam who helped organize a trip to Egypt
      and Lebanon last year to rally support among Muslim
      leaders for protests against drawings that lampooned
      the prophet, told IslamOnline.net Sunday, October 8,
      in an interview.

      Danish state TV on Friday, October 6, aired amateur
      video footage showing a number of members of the youth
      wing of the DPP at a summer camp in August, drinking,
      singing and engaging in a competition to draw
      humiliating images of the Prophet.

      The charge-free daily Nyhed Avisen also published the
      amateurish drawings on Saturday.

      In September last year Danish daily Jyllands-Posten
      published cartoons, including one showing the Prophet
      Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, proving Muslim
      condemnation from all the world over and sparking
      protests early this year in which more than 50 people
      died in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

      In statements to Reuters, Abu-Laban said he regretted
      Danish TV's decision to air the footage saying it
      raised ethical questions.

      "We've been working very hard to resolve the problems
      since the conflict earlier this year," he said.

      "This time it's a different situation. Of course it's
      deplorable, but we all know the attitude the DPP have
      toward Muslims and Islam and these pictures were never
      intended for publication," Abu Laban said.


      Qassem Said, spokesman for the Danish Islamic
      Community, said the "irresponsible" act is an internal

      "We don't want it to be an explosive issue," Said told
      IslamOnline.net Saturday.

      Said, whose group is an umbrella body grouping 27
      Muslim organizations in Denmark, noted that
      representatives of Islamic organizations in the
      country will meet Sunday with Nyhed Avisen
      editor-in-chief David Trads.

      "The paper at issue was only seeking fame by
      publishing such cartoons," he said, adding that the
      Sunday meeting would focus on means of heading off a

      Abu Laban, in statements to IOL, said Muslim leaders
      in Denmark will invite a number of scholars soon to
      have a first-hand experience on the publishing

      "We consider inviting the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and
      other scholars to open a dialogue," he said.

      Following the cartoons crisis last year, a galaxy of
      Muslim scholars established an international
      organization and a fund for defending Prophet Muhammad
      against defamatory attacks in the West.

      The cartoons have prompted Muslim minorities in many
      Western countries to champion local campaigns to raise
      awareness of the merits and characteristics of the

      IslamOnline.net launched on March 21 a multi-lingual
      website to acquaint non-Muslims with the prophet.

      Too Stupid

      Yildiz Akdogan, spokeswoman for Democratic Muslims, a
      pro-integration group formed in the aftermath of the
      protests against the cartoons in February, said she
      was glad other parties had condemned the actions.

      "I think the events are too stupid and too absurd to
      provoke demonstrations or other actions from Muslims,"
      she said.

      "Of course it's not a good thing and definitely does
      not make building bridges any easier, but I hope it
      won't have any lasting effect."

      The youth wings of other parties, including the ruling
      Liberal party, criticized the DPP and said they would
      protest by not attending any political events where
      members of the Danish Peoples' Party were present.

      Kenneth Kristensen, a senior member of the DPP's youth
      movement, criticized the events, but stopped short of
      apologizing. The party was not available to comment on

      The DPP rose to prominence in a 2001 election on a
      platform that combines emphasis on increased spending
      on schools and care for the elderly with a strong
      anti-immigrant stance.

      It has been accused of racism, but has been a
      political ally of the centre-right coalition led by
      Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen since 2001.

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