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Danish Newspaper At Heart of Controversy Rejected Drawings Lampooning Jesus Christ

by Democracy Now (reposted)
controversy, has staunchly defended its decision to run the images, which included depictions of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb. On Monday, the Guardian of London revealed the newspaper refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ. We take a look at Jyllands-Posten with Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen.
Muslims are continuing to stage protests around the world following the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. _> Earlier today about half a million Muslims in Lebanon peacefully protest against the cartoons. In Afghanistan, police shot four protesters dead on Wednesday bringing the death toll to 10 over the past three days. In the West Bank, demonstrators stormed the headquarters of international observers stationed in Hebron. Over the past week, protests have broken out in dozens of cities across Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

In Washington Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Syria and Iran of using the controversy to incite anti-West sentiment.

* Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, February 8th, 2006.

On Wednesday President Bush discussed the situation publicly for the first time during a public appearance with Jordan's King Abdullah.

* President Bush, speaking February 8th, 2006.

Meanwhile the New York Times is reporting the outrage over the cartoons largely grew out of a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference held in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in December - three months after the cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Attending the summit were the leaders of the world's 57 Muslim nations.

The leaders issued a closing communique that expressed "concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the media of certain countries."

In Britain Muslim leaders gathered on Wednesday to discuss their response to the printing of the cartoons.

Sheikh Fiaz Siffiqi of the Muslim Action Committee compared the publication of the cartoons to Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses which was banned by several Muslim nations for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

* Sheikh Fiaz Siffiqi, Muslim Action Committee.

On Monday, the Guardian of London revealed that the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ. In April 2003, a Danish illustrator submitted a series of cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ. He received an email back from the paper's editor which said: "I don't think our readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them."

* Jytte Klausen, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at Brandeis University. Her most recent book is "The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe."

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