Indonesia: Muslims Storm Danish Embassy
- Muslim protesters storm Danish Embassy in Indonesia over Muhammad cartoons
February 3, 2006
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Hardline Muslims barged into a high-rise
building housing the Danish Embassy on Friday to protest the
publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, and then tore down
and burned the country's white and red flag.
The rowdy protest by about 70 people was one of the first in the
world's most populous Muslim country against the 12 cartoons, which
first appeared in September in a Danish newspaper. They were reprinted
in several other European newspapers this week in a gesture of press
"We are not terrorists, we are not anarchists but we are against those
people who blaspheme Islam," one of the protesters shouted outside the
building, which also houses several other foreign missions in Jakarta.
They pelted the building with eggs, pushed their way past security
guards and milled around in the lobby before leaving of their own
accord after five minutes. They then tore the embassy's flag down from
outside the building and lit it on fire on the pavement.
The demonstrators also stopped outside an Indonesian newspaper which
briefly ran one of the cartoons on its website Thursday to illustrate
its story on the uproar generated by them elsewhere in the Muslim world.
Editors of Rakyat Merdeka met some of the protesters, but it was not
known what they told them.
Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet, favourable or
otherwise, to prevent idolatry. The drawings have prompted boycotts of
Danish goods, bomb threats and demonstrations against Danish
facilities in Muslim countries.
Indonesia's government reiterated earlier criticism of the paper's
decision to publish.
"This is about insensitivity and a trend toward Islamaphobia," said
foreign ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin. "As a democratic country we
are very aware of press freedom, but we also believe it should not be
used to slander, or defame sacred religious symbols."
Pakistan parliament condemns "blasphemous" cartoons
Fri Feb 3, 2006
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament on Friday denounced the
publication by European newspapers of cartoons caricaturing the
Prophet Mohammad which Muslims say insult Islam.
Parliament's upper house unanimously passed a resolution condemning
the cartoons, originally published by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten
last September, as "blasphemous and derogatory".
Newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary
reprinted the caricatures, saying that press freedom was more
important than the protests and boycotts they have provoked.
"This vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign cannot be justified
in the name of freedom of expression or of the press," the Senate
"Freedom also requires responsibility and cannot be extended to
justify abuse, insult or injury to the religious sentiments of people
belonging to other faiths.
The deputies called on the government to lodge protests through
diplomatic channels and consider economic and political actions to
"prevent uncivilised behaviour by the Danish daily and other European
media against the Muslim faith."
The resolution is not binding on the government.
Earlier, Khursheed Ahmed, a deputy from an Islamist opposition
alliance, said Pakistanis should boycott Danish products as a mark of
About 400 students from Islamic seminaries or madrasas set fire to
French and Danish flags on Thursday in the central city of Multan to
protest about the cartoons.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tansim Aslam said Pakistan had lodged a
protest with the Danish ambassador soon after publication of the
cartoons in September.
Outrage has erupted across the Islamic world since the cartoons appeared.
Muslim anger as more papers print Mohammad cartoons
By Kerstin Gehmlich
Fri Feb 3, 2006
An Indonesian Muslim militant shouts a slogan in front of a building
housing the Danish embassy in Jakarta February 3, 2006. REUTERS/Dadang Tri
PARIS (Reuters) - Angry Muslims attacked a building housing the Danish
embassy in Indonesia on Friday as more European newspapers reprinted
cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have caused outrage across the
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen summoned foreign envoys in
Copenhagen for a meeting to discuss the outcry and the government's
response to the publication of the drawings, which first appeared in
Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous and the
cartoons have touched off an international row and a debate on freedom
of the media and respect for religion.
Up to 300 militant Indonesian Muslims went on a rampage in the lobby
of a building housing the Danish embassy in Jakarta.
Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), they smashed lamps with
bamboo sticks, threw chairs, lobbed rotten eggs and tomatoes and tore
up a Danish flag. No one was hurt.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin said the dispute
was not just between Jakarta and Copenhagen.
"It involves the whole Islamic world vis-a-vis Denmark and vis-a-vis
the trend of Islamophobia," he said.
Rasmussen, who was meeting ambassadors later on Friday, said the issue
was a question of free speech and he could not control what appeared
in the Danish media.
Danish companies have reported sales falling in the Middle East after
protests in the Arab world and calls for boycotts.
Palestinian gunmen seized and later released a German on Thursday, and
a hand grenade was thrown into the compound of the French Cultural
Center in the Gaza Strip.
FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA?
European newspapers said the publication of the cartoons was an
expression of freedom of the media.
"Liberation defends the freedom of expression," French daily
Liberation said in a headline introducing two of the cartoons, one of
which depicted an imam telling suicide bombers to stop because Heaven
had run out of virgins to reward them.
In Italy, at least two papers published the cartoons on their front
pages on Friday.
"Objectively, the cartoons are fairly ugly and are not funny -- but
the point is not the quality of the drawing or the punchline," said
Vittorio Feltri, editor of maverick right-wing daily Libero.
"This is about accepting or refusing the principle that it is possible
to laugh at, or even just criticize, a mentality, a religion, a way of
understanding spirituality," he wrote.
Bulgarian daily Novinar also reprinted the drawings and Spain's El
Pais reprinted a cartoon that had appeared in France's Le Monde
newspaper portraying the head of the Prophet Mohammad, formed by lines
which read "I must not draw Mohammad".
The Sun tabloid, Britain's biggest-selling daily, reprinted the front
pages of French daily France Soir and the Danish paper but obscured
images of Mohammad with red boxes marked CENSORED.
More protests were expected in the Muslim world over the cartoons, one
of which shows the Prophet Mohammad wearing a turban resembling a bomb.
In Iran, worshippers were expected to take part in a nationwide rally
after Friday prayers to protest.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux)
SA Muslims decry Muhammad cartoons
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
03 February 2006
The Council of Muslim Theologians in South Africa was "deeply
offended" by caricatures of the prophet Muhammad depicting him as a
terrorist, which were published in European newspapers.
"The publication of these cartoons demonstrates contempt for the
religious beliefs of the Muslim community," the council's secretary
general, Mufti Zubair Bayat, said in a statement on Friday.
A Danish newspaper was the first to publish the 12 cartoons in
September. One of them depicts the prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban.
Several other European newspapers published the drawings this week in
a show of press freedom. On Wednesday, the Egyptian owner of the
France Soir daily fired the editor after the paper republished all the
Two right-wing Italian newspapers on Friday published the 12 caricatures.
Muslims have responded by boycotting Danish products in supermarkets.
Palestinian gunmen on Thursday surrounded the European Union's offices
in the Gaza Strip, demanding an apology.
"What was the intention of these publications ... when it is a
well-known fact that he was a paragon of peace, mercy, tolerance and
forgiveness?" Bayat said.
The publications have abused freedom of speech by taking it to a
dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable level.
"The Muslim community views the publications of such offensive
material as a serious attack on the integrity of their religion, and
as an attack on the global Muslim community."
The council called on Muslims to respect law and order in their
protests against the cartoons. -- Sapa
We must show our opposition to Islam, says Danish queen
By Hannah Cleaver in Berlin
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has called on the country "to show our
opposition to Islam", regardless of the opprobium such a stance
Her comments further undermined the image of Denmark as a liberal
haven for those seeking a new life in northern Europe.
Queen Margrethe II
The Danish government has already been accused of fuelling xenophobia
by introducing measures which effectively closed the country to asylum
But in overtly political passages from an official biography published
yesterday Queen Margrethe makes comments certain to complicate her
nation's relationship with Muslims.
She said: "We are being challenged by Islam these years - globally as
well as locally. It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have
let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and lazy.
"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run
the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are
some things for which we should display no tolerance."
"And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of
convenience or conviction."
The Queen, who turns 65 tomorrow and has reigned since 1972, wields no
political power but does occasionally comment on political issues.
Denmark has seriously limited immigration in the past three years and
the anti-immigrant Danish People's Party, an ally of the centre-Right
government, has pushed through laws making it harder to bring in
foreign spouses or qualify for asylum.
The queen told her biographer, Annelise Bistrup, apparently referring
to Muslim fundamentalists: "There is something impressive about people
for whom religion imbues their existence, from dusk to dawn, from
cradle to grave."
She said she understood how disaffected young Muslims might find
refuge in religion. This tendency should be fought by encouraging
Muslims to learn Danish so they could integrate better, she said.
"We should not be content with living next to each other. We should
rather live together."
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