Da The Daily Star del 03/02/2006
Originale su http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&a...

More papers fuel war over Prophet's cartoon

Outrage spread through the Middle East Thursday after more European newspapers published cartoons that Muslims say insult Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned "of the near- and long-term repercussions (of the) campaign of insults against the noble Prophet." "Irresponsible management of these repercussions will provide further excuses to the forces of radicalism and terrorism," said a Mubarak statement.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and emphasized the "need for a vigorous" reaction to the cartoons.

The owner of France Soir, a Paris daily that reprinted the cartoons on Wednesday, along with a German paper, sacked its managing editor to show "a strong sign of respect for the beliefs and intimate convictions of every individual." Tunisia and Morocco banned copies of the French tabloid. But the tabloid defended its right to print the cartoons, first published last September in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.

Le Temps in Geneva and Budapest's Magyar Hirlap ran another offending cartoon showing an imam telling suicide bombers to stop because Heaven had run out of virgins to reward them.

Several European publications, such as Spain's ABC newspaper and Periodico de Catalunya, showed photographs of papers which had published the cartoons. Other European dailies including France's Le Monde printed cartoons mocking the row.

In a bold move, a Jordanian tabloid defiantly published three of the cartoons.

"Muslims of the world, be reasonable," said the editor-in-chief of Al-Shihan in an editor-

ial alongside the cartoons. Jihad Momani told AFP he decided to publish the offending cartoons "so people know what they are protesting about ... People are attacking drawings that they have not even seen."

But the weekly's publishing company decided to pull the tabloid from newsstands and "open an investigation to identify those responsible for this abominable and reprehensible behavior," a statement said.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef said Riyadh considered the cartoons an insult to Mohammad and all Muslims. "We hope religious centers like the Vatican will clarify their opinion in this respect," he told the state news agency SPA.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said Saudi Arabia had assured him it was not organizing a boycott of Danish products among Arab countries and so there were no grounds for referring Riyadh to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mandelson also blasted European publications for "throwing petrol on to the flames" and being "provocative" by reproducing the images.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the publication of the cartoons as "an attack on our spiritual values. There should be a limit to press freedom."

In Gaza, Palestinian gunmen surrounded the European Commission's office, and threatened to kidnap Europeans because of the caricatures. The gunmen demanded apologies from the governments of France, Denmark, Germany and Norway. They said they would shut down media offices of the four countries.

France and Denmark warned travelers against visiting Gaza, and Norway suspended operations at its representative office in the Palestinian territories.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's office said he and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller had summoned foreign envoys in Copenhagen for a Friday meeting.

Denmark's ambassador in Paris met leaders of French Muslims, who have threatened legal action. The ambassador handed over a letter of regret from Rasmussen, written in Arabic, and an apology from the director of Jyllands-Posten.

France's Grand Rabbi Joseph Sitruk said he shared Muslim anger. "We gain nothing by lowering religions, humiliating them and making caricatures of them. It's a lack of honesty and respect," he said. He said that freedom of expression "is not a right without limits."

Religious leaders of Christian minorities in Turkey also denounced the publication of the cartoons, Anatolia news agency reported.

Influential Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi said on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television that "the world's 1.3 billion Muslims were being challenged with the printing of the cartoons and they must defend their honor." But the Doha-based cleric said that for now he would not favor going beyond economic sanctions.

Danish companies have reported sales falling in the Middle East after protests against the cartoons in the Arab world and calls for boycotts.

In Qatar, the chamber of commerce and industry said it plans to issue a statement shortly urging all shopkeepers to remove Danish and Norwegian products from their shelves.

A Qatari group calling itself the Campaign to Resist International Aggression led by lawyer Abdel-Rahman al-Nuaimi says it was suing all the offending newspapers that published the cartoons.

Sullo stesso argomento

News in archivio

Cina: dissidente condannato a 4 anni per articoli online
Nei suoi scritti parole dure contro il governo di Pechino
su ITNews del 17/10/2006
su Reuters del 08/10/2006

In biblioteca

di Luca Mozzati
Mondadori, 2009
di Amos Oz
Feltrinelli Editore, 2009
di Yahyâ S. Y. Pallavicini
BUR Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, 2007
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