Muslims in London declare Jihad over Mohammed cartoons :"There are no apologies...those responsible would have to be killed"
February 3, 2006
Muslims march, burn flags over caricatures
Last Updated Fri, 03 Feb 2006 14:56:03 EST CBC News
Violent protests over the publication of editorial cartoons showing the Prophet Muhammad are gaining momentum, with activists threatening to launch "a day of anger" across Europe and the Muslim world.
The caricatures were originally printed in a Danish newspaper last fall, causing minor protests, but their republication by a Norwegian paper in December fired up the anger of Muslims again.
Muslims believe any depiction of Muhammad is blasphemous because it could lead to idolatry.
About 500 protesters who gathered in London on Friday carried signs with slogans such as: "Freedom of speech, go to hell" and "Kill, kill Denmark!"
As they walked through the British capital, they shouted: "What do we want? Jihad! [holy war!] When do we want it? Now!"
"The only way this will be resolved is if those who are responsible are turned over so they can be punished by Islamic law, so that they can be executed," Abu Ibraheem, a 26-year-old protester in the British march, told the Associated Press. "There are no apologies ... Those responsible would have to be killed."
Other European media agencies show cartoons
The controversy is being fed by the decision of other European news organizations to reprint or broadcast the cartoons this week as a way of defending freedom of the press.
Newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary and Italy have joined the group of those publishing the caricatures, one of which shows the Prophet wearing a turban with a lit fuse to suggest a bomb.
Carlos Enrique Bayo, editor of the Barcelona-based El Periodico, told CBC News that his newspaper wanted to inform readers about the controversy, "so we showed how the page was printed in Denmark."
The decision prompted a flood of letters from newspaper subscribers.
"A lot of readers are proud of our decision, and half of them are opposed to us printing those cartoons," Bayo said.
Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first printed the cartoons, has apologized for any hurt it might have caused, but not for publishing the cartoons.
Syria and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors to Denmark over the controversy, and there have been boycotts of Danish products throughout the Middle East and countries around around the world with large Muslim populations.
During the London protest Friday, two Danish flags were burned.
In Iraq, hundreds of protesters also took to the streets and burned the Danish flag, and similar protests were held in Pakistan and Indonesia.
Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, said he too took offence at the images, but called on Muslims to moderate their reaction.
"We are a people who by the instructions of religion are bound to take the course of forgiveness and accommodation," he said.
"As much as we can do this, we must have, as Muslims, the courage to forgive and not make it an issue of dispute between religions or cultures."