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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 09:30 GMT
Film festival hit by cartoon row
Majid Majidi
Majidi's film has been replaced by another Iranian movie
An Iranian director has pulled out of a Danish film festival in protest against the publication in Denmark of cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

Majid Majidi said he was withdrawing "to protest against insulting any religious belief or icon".

"A paper in your country has insulted the huge population of Muslim people and disrespected the boundaries of the holy sanctuaries of beliefs," he said.

Organisers of the Natfilm festival said they regretted Mr Majidi's decision.

"The festival aims to increase knowledge of other cultures and thus build tolerance and understanding between peoples of the world," said festival director Kim Foss.


Director Majid Majidi's 2005 film The Willow Tree was to have been shown at Denmark's biggest film festival later this month.

The film has been replaced by another Iranian film, Fariborz Kamkari's The Forbidden Chapter.

The 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten have caused outrage among some Muslims.

Some Arab states have imposed economic sanctions on Danish products in protest.

The 17th annual Natfilm festival runs from 24 March to 2 April in Copenhagen and other cities in Denmark.

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