Imams started cartoon Jihad: Danish PM blasts clerics as "fanatics ..pouring oil on the flames...peddling false image of Denmark"
February 10, 2006
Danes lay blame imams for furore
MOST Danes hold Muslim clerics responsible for the furore over cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that has engulfed the Muslim world, a poll has shown, revealing increasing hostility to Islam in Denmark.
Danish imams have been harshly criticised for leading two delegations, representing 27 Muslim organisations, on trips to Egypt and Lebanon in December to rally support for their protests against the 12 cartoons that were first published in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in September.
A total of 58 per cent of Danes surveyed in a Megafon poll, results of which were aired on the TV2 channel yesterday, blaming the Danish imams for the worldwide protests, while 22 per cent placed the responsibility on Jyllands-Posten.
A further 11 per cent put the blame on Middle East governments, according to the poll of 1,033 people.
Just five per cent of respondents felt the responsibility lay with the Danish government.
One young Danish student interviewed today, who identified himself only as Kristian, had harsh words for the imams.
"They're clowns. They're ruining our image by telling lies about the country that has taken them in. They should be expelled for sabotage against Denmark," he said.
The Danish government, as well as a majority of deputies and the media, including Jyllands-Posten, have accused the imams of spreading false information on Denmark, including showing pictures offensive to Muslims that were never published in the media and spreading rumours that Danes were gathering in the streets to burn the Koran.
"A large part of the explanation for the current diplomatic crisis is due to the fact that some people have been spreading false information about Denmark," Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said recently.
He blasted the imams as "fanatics who are pouring oil on the flames by peddling a false image of Denmark."