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Denmark Pulls Diplomats From Syria, Iran, Indonesia


http://gdb.rferl.org/830B9B74-470D-49F8-AC2D-C70C10E42252_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/830B9B74-470D-49F8-AC2D-C70C10E42252_mw800_mh600.jpg Anti-Denmark demonstration in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 8 February (epa) 11 February 2006 -- Denmark says it has withdrawn its ambassadors and embassy staff from Syria, Iran, and Indonesia, fearing fresh mass protests over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Also today, Denmark advised its citizens still living in all three countries to leave at once.

The Danish embassies in all three countries have been attacked in recent days by protesters.

The cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper in September and later reprinted in other European newspapers, caused outrage among Muslims across the world who consider them blasphemous.

Peaceful protests by Muslims against the publication of the cartoons were held today in several European cities, including London, Paris, and Berlin.

In London, several thousand British Muslims said they also wanted to condemn the violence that flared around the world following the cartoons' publication.

(compiled from agency reports)
Clash Of Cultures

Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie (epa file photo)

The furor raised by the publication in Europe of cartoons believed by many Muslims to be insulting to Islam is far from being the first time that Western notions of freedom of expression have clashed with Islamic sensibilities. Below are a few of the major incidents in this long-running tension.

2005: London's Tate Britain museum removes from exhibition the "God Is Great #2" sculpture by John Latham for fear of offending Muslims, citing the "sensitive climate" after 7 July suicide bombings in London. The sculpture piece consists of three sacred religious texts -- the Koran, the Bible, and the Talmud -- embedded in a sheet of glass.

2004: Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh is murdered after release of his film "Submission" about violence against women in Islamic societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born member of Dutch parliament who wrote script, plans another film about Islam's attitude to gays. She has also received death threats.

2002: Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel incenses Muslims by writing in "This Day" newspaper that Prophet Muhammad would have approved of the "Miss World" contest and might have wed a beauty queen. Muslim-Christian riots in northern city of Kaduna kill 200. Daniel flees Nigeria after a fatwa urges Muslims to kill her.

1995: An Egyptian court brands academic Nasr Hamed Abu Zaid an apostate because of his writings on Islam and annuls his marriage on grounds that a Muslim may not be married to an apostate. Abu Zaid and his wife move to the Netherlands.

1994: Taslima Nasreen flees Bangladesh for Sweden after court charges her with "maliciously hurting Muslim religious sentiments." Some Muslims demand she be killed for her book "Lajja" (Shame), banned for blasphemy and suggesting free sex.

1989: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calls on all Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie for blasphemy against Islam in his book "The Satanic Verses."

(compiled by RFE/RL)

See also:

Dutch Immigration -- The Death Of Multiculturalism

Report Says No Anti-Muslim Backlash In Europe

Vienna Conference Ends With Appeals For Understanding, Tolerance


A thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.
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