Dhaka editors seek forgiveness for controversial cartoon


Dhaka : Editors in Dhaka have urged the Muslim clergy to accept the apology issued by a newspaper following the publication of an objectionable cartoon in the magazine “Aalpin”.

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They also urged all concerned to be “tolerant” and exercise “restraint” in the action taken against the freelance scribe and cartoonist Arifur Rahman, who was arrested earlier this week.

Prathom Alo newspaper’s magazine Aalpin had carried a cartoon entitled “Naam” (name), which reportedly ridiculed the Prophet by adding his name (Mohammed) before an animal.

A Dhaka magistrate has suspended the publication of “Aalpin” since then.

The newspaper management had soon after issued a statement expressing regret and had given an undertaking that it would not carry any cartoon or writing by Rahman.

Editors met Information Adviser Mainul Hosein Thursday and issued a statement where they said that the “publication of the cartoon feature was an unfortunate event. Naturally it hurt the pious Muslim community”.

Their statement said that Prothom Alo authorities had already apologised for the inadvertent publication of the cartoon and had withdrawn it immediately, the Daily Star reported Friday.

“We believe Prothom Alo is respectful towards Islam and religious sentiments,” it added.

“We believe following Prothom Alo’s admission of the mistake and seeking apology the government and … all sections concerned, including the religious minded Muslims, will be pacified,” the statement said. “We urge all concerned to be patient and tolerant.”