Republished Danish cartoon of prophet Muhammad ignites tensions
Muslims have protested Danish and Dutch actions they see as insulting to Islam.
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The Danish government, however, has refused to condemn the republication of the cartoons and, in an act praised by Israel's Ynet News, the government canceled an official delegation that was due to travel to Iran:Skip to next paragraph
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A group of Danish lawmakers has cancelled a trip to Iran because Tehran demanded they condemn the reprinting of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in newspapers, a spokeswoman said Saturday.
Ten members of the parliament's Foreign Policy Committee, including Denmark's former foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft, were scheduled to visit Iran between Feb. 18 and Feb. 21.
Mette Vestergaard, a committee official, confirmed the cancellation. "The Iranian ambassador asked the Foreign Policy Committee to condemn the drawings. They can't and they won't," she said without giving more details."
The American Muslim has mentioned some of the other immediate consequences of the republication of the cartoon:
Once again we are seeing protests in Pakistan, young people rioting in Denmark's immigrant areas which has now gone on for seven nights, calls for a total boycott of Denmark by Kuwaiti MP's and by an Arab consumer group, and diplomatic difficulties.
The reaction bears strong resemblance to the outcry that followed the original publication of the cartoons in 2005, as reported The Christian Science Monitor at the time:
The bomb threat comes in the aftermath of the September 2005 publication of the 12 cartoons, some of which seemed to equate Muhammad with terrorism. Since publication, Jyllands-Posten and Denmark have become the focus of the ire of the Muslim world. Demonstrators in Gaza have burned Danish flags, Saudi Arabia and Libya have withdrawn their ambassadors to Denmark, and Danish goods are being boycotted across the Middle East.
This time, however, a new virtual debate has also been spawned by the controversy. In Denmark, the battle of Facebook sites (registration required) defending the pros and cons of the cartoons has already begun:
"Now young Danish student Anders Boetter says he has decided to start a Facebook site called Sorry Muhammad to apologise to Muslims on behalf of ordinary Danes and also give them a voice in the controversy over the row.
Anders says that in the last two years since the first printing of the cartoons, the media has built up a debate which is very black-and-white.
"Either you were for the Muhammad drawings or you were against it, but I believe there are many Danes who do not feel that way - they're somewhere in between and I am one of them," he explains."
Within hours of the launch of his Facebook group, a rival group appeared called "No Need to Apologise to Muhammad."