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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 2 February 2006

Thursday, 2 February, 2006


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From Kirsty Wark


Tonight on Newsnight - Is it wrong to print a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb for a turban? Islamic tradition prohibits any depiction of the Prophet, to prevent idolatry. Is it, as the Egyptian President says, risking provoking a terrorist backlash? And is Peter Mandelson right when he says the reprinting of these images is "throwing petrol on to the flames of the original offence" Or is it imperative to defend freedom of expression at all costs? Can it ever be right to try to censor material?

The row over the printing of the series of cartoons has today escalated. The editor of "France Soir" (which reprinted the original Danish cartoons) has been sacked. Saudi Arabia and Syria have withdrawn their ambassadors to Copenhagen. Danish troops operating with British forces in Southern Iraq are under heightened alert and two armed groups in the Palestinian territories have threatened to target Danes, French and Norwegians (who also reprinted the images).

Tonight we bring together all sides of the argument which involves not just Islam, but elements of the Christian and Sikh faiths too.


In the last few minutes a jury has cleared the BNP leader Nick Griffin of two charges for comments he made in 2004 relating to the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The jury has now been discharged from making a decision on a further six charges. We'll have the latest.


Iran has threatened to throw out the IAEA's nuclear inspectors if the country is reported to the UN Security Council. Remind you of anything? Are we headed towards the same scenario that faced the world when Iraq ejected the inspectors in 1998? We'll be speaking to the United States former Chief Weapons inspector, David Kay.


When the government lost the votes on the religious hatred bill it wasn't just because Tony Blair left the Chamber it was because many Labour MPs had taken themselves off to campaign in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election. It's a popular locale this week - today David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Charles Kennedy, Alex Salmond and Michael Crick are all in town - but he's the only one making a film of his day, with them, for Newsnight tonight.

Catch us if you can.


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