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Tensions High Between Denmark And Muslims Over Cartoon


A Norweigan paper has issued a statement apologizing to the world's Muslims for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (file photo) (AFP) 30 January 2006 -- Tension between Arab nations and Denmark over cartoons in a Danish newspaper deemed offensive to Islam increased today with growing condemnation and threats against Nordic nationals.

The cartoons, depicting the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb, were first published by the newspaper “Jyllands Posten” in September 2005, but the debate was reignited last week when a Norwegian Christian magazine republished the illustrations.


The paper today has issued a statement apologizing to the world's Muslims for publishing Muhammad caricatures.


In Gaza City armed Palestinian militants stormed an EU office in protest today after distributing flyers yesterday urging Nordic nationals to leave the territories within 72 hours.


The controversy has also triggered calls in many Arab countries for a boycott of Danish products.


Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya, have also said they intend to recall their ambassadors from Copenhagen.


In a statement today, the European Commission said it supported Denmark's defense that the cartoons were published in the spirit of free speech.


(compiled from agency reports)

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)

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CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)



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Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
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Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
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