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Muslims Voice Anger Over ‎Cartoons Mocking Prophet ‎Mohammed‎‎

ISSUE 211
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An ICG Official Says Somaliland's Claim To ‎Recognition Is “Consistent With The AU Charter.”‎

Abdillahi Yusuf Takes Refuge In Galkayo‎ After Falling Out With Geedi And Addis ‎Ababa

Muslims Voice Anger Over ‎Cartoons Mocking Prophet ‎Mohammed‎‎

What Is Going On In Somaliland ‎‎????‎‎‎

Somaliland Opposes Africa Call To Ease U.N. ‎Embargo‎

Somaliland Forum Denounces The Illegal ‎Exploration Contract Between RR. Ltd And ‎Puntland‎

Trouble Looms In Somalia As PM Rejects Sit Of ‎Parliament

Local & Regional Affairs

Seyoum Mesfin: Ethiopia Backs ‎Somaliland Trade, Not Sovereignty

Ancient Ship Remains Found‎

Somalia's Puntland Sold Exploration Rights In ‎Somaliland

Djibouti: Parliament Adopts New Standing ‎Orders

Ethiopia Bans Grain Exports To Stabilize Local ‎Market‎‎

Four Kenyans Starve To Death At A Somali ‎Town‎‎‎‎‎

Multi-National Force Deployed To ‎Combat Piracy Off East African Coast

U.S. Navy Hands Over Suspected Somali Pirates To ‎Kenya‎

Djibouti Becomes New Member Of ‎OPCW‎‎‎‎‎

Editorial
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International News

Exclusive: We'll Help Sink Pirate Gang‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

Libya Shuts Embassy In Denmark ‎Over ‘Blasphemous’ Cartoons‎‎

WFP Plans To Carry Out Humanitarian, ‎Development Works With 220m USD This ‎Year

Somali Man Shot Dead In London

Somaliland’s disheartening foreign policy needs an overhaul‎‎

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Reality Check On Ismail Omar Guelleh

Support Offered To Welsh Somalis‎‎

Finnish Muslims Understand ‎Indignation Over Cartoons Of ‎Prophet Muhammad

The Worst Drought In Three Decades In ‎Somaliland‎

Notice Board

Opinions

Prolonging The Somali Crisis‎

Our Meetings With The ‎Ambassadors‎‎‎

Somaliland Integrity Versus Hunters Of ‎Opportunism

Joint Needs Assessment And Its ‎Implications For Somaliland‎

Rayale’s Foreign Trips And The ‎Chaos That Ensues On The Road To ‎The Airport

Is The JNA Poisonous Or Nutritional Pill?‎‎


By Margaret Besheer

Washington, February 03, 2006 (VOA News) – Muslims around the world are protesting the publication of 12 caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The drawings were first printed in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in September, but several European newspapers have since reprinted them, saying it is a matter of free speech, not religious beliefs.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of angry worshippers gathered at the al Aqsa Mosque compound after Friday prayers and burned the flag of Denmark, where the cartoons first appeared.

In Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, dozens of members of the hard-line Muslim group, the Defenders of Islam, or F.P.I., pushed past security guards into the lobby of the Danish embassy in Jakarta demanding to speak to the ambassador.

Demonstrators also took to the streets in Turkey, Iran, Britain and Bahrain. They, like many other Muslims around the world, are outraged over the cartoons, which they say are deeply offensive. They are also angry because their faith forbids depicting images of the Prophet, for fear it may lead to idolatry.

One drawing shows the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. Another shows him turning away suicide bombers from Paradise, saying there are no more virgins.

The United States expressed offense at the cartoons, but defended the right of the publications to print the cartoons, saying freedom of expression is a core principle of democracy. "While we share the offense that Muslims have taken at these images, we at the same time vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view. We may not agree with those points of view; we may condemn those points of view; but we respect and emphasize ... that those individuals have the right to express those points of view," said U.S. State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw criticized the decision of a number of European publications to reprint the cartoons. "The republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary; it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong," he said.

Straw praised the British media for showing what he called "considerable responsibility," and refraining from reprinting the cartoons. But BBC television briefly broadcast them on Thursday.

Media groups have defended the cartoons' publication, arguing press freedom means publishing all kinds of opinions, even ones that some might consider shocking or defamatory.

In addition to street protests, Muslims have channeled their anger into a boycott of Danish-made products. Several Arab governments have also withdrawn their ambassadors from Denmark.

In Copenhagen, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen tried to calm tensions, meeting Friday with more than 70 diplomats from Muslim countries. He said he is deeply distressed at the reaction to the drawings, but offered no apology for their publication.

 


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