Protest against Denmark over cartoon gains momentum in Muslim world

Amman – (IINA)February 24 – Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, as elsewhere in the world, have intensified protests against the Danish government and its media over the blasphemous cartoons published in the newspapers there. Jordan’s trade unions urged the government to sever economic ties with Denmark. In a letter to Prime Minister Nader Dahabi, Trade Unions Council Chairman Saleh Armouti also called on the government to “summon the Danish ambassador and relay to him a strongly worded protest that reflects our absolute rejection of such offenses.”

Armouti contended that the pictures, which were reprinted by a dozen of Danish newspapers last week, represented “an unprecedented defiance of the feelings of Arabs and Muslims.” He considered as mere “ugly lies” the pretext of freedom of expression, which was cited by the Danish papers for reprinting the caricatures, which were originally published by the newspaper Jyllands-Posten two years ago.

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Around 200 Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip on Friday against Danish newspapers. They gathered in the southern town of Rafah on the Egyptian border in response to a call from the mini-Parliament, an organ of the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Children burned Danish, American and Israeli flags and a banner read “to hell with Denmark. We will accept nothing less than an apology and a trial.” Hamas, the Islamist group that ousted Fatah from power in Gaza in June, held a demonstration of its own last week.

Speaking to the crowd in the northern town of Jabaliya, Hamas MP Yussef Sharafi called on the Danish government to “apologize to Muslims for the offense to the Prophet (peace be upon him).” Hamas condemned the newspapers and called for those responsible to be put on trial, saying publication of the cartoon was an “offense to the feelings of tens of millions of Muslims.
In Khartoum, around 200 Sudanese demonstrated against Denmark.

Angry Muslim men dressed in traditional white robes marched through closed-off streets followed by fellow protesters driving at a snail’s pace in air-conditioned cars, under the close watch of security forces. The crowd chanted for Sudan to end diplomatic relations with Denmark, and boycott Danish produce, said an AFP photographer. Students in the National Congress Party of President Omar Bashir organized the protest.