Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Friday, 3 February 2006

Cartoon controversy: Global reaction

Palestinian militants protest outside the EU Commission's office in Gaza City
The cartoons' publication caused protests across the world
The BBC's language websites have received thousands of emails from around the world commenting on the controversy over publication in Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Here follows a selection of thoughts translated by seven language sites.

The following comments reflect the balance of views received.

"There should be a limit to freedom of expression"
Armin, Mashad, Iran

"I condemn this awful publication which divides more than unites"
Izzat Azeez Habeeb, Egypt

"Journalists have tried to torture the minds of millions of Muslims "
MSJ Khan, Canada

"I do not think that Muslims should criticise this"
Saleem Wadeed, Pakistan
"Why is there so much fuss about these pictures?"
Genadiy Mixailov, Russia

"Freedom of speech should not be violated in any way"
Carlos, El Salvador

"This caricature is anti-Islamic and treacherous"
Nur, Aceh, Indonesia


In my opinion there should be a limit to freedom of expression. One can not use freedom of speech as an excuse for writing and drawing any thing he or she wants. Why do Germany and other European countries ban freedom of speech when it comes to issues like the Holocaust? There should be a limit to everything.
Armin, Mashad, Iran

Freedom of speech is different to insulting a faith. In this caricature the Prophet of Islam has been portrayed as a ''terrorist'' and the only purpose of the western countries with such an act has been to hurt the feelings of one billion Muslims worldwide and insult their religion.
Eshragh,Toronto, Canada

In my opinion it is essential to respect people's faiths and beliefs. Insulting a faith is only a sign of narrow mindedness and weak character. I think ridiculing or joking about any faith or religion is wrong and inhuman.


Muslims ought to have held to account these Arab satellite TV channels which market those who insult the Prophet by showing them slaughtering people on video without mercy. I had expected such a development as the one we see in Denmark now because we who claim that we are Muslims and that we love our Prophet were the first to offend against him.
Mohamed Ghaza'ai, Baghdad, Iraq

A few months ago the son of the heir to the British throne wore a Nazi uniform to a party. Then, the British people did not regard this act as falling within the realm of personal freedom of expression and demanded an apology. Obviously, freedom of expression is subject to interpretation the world over.
Omar Radi, Toronto, Canada

I strongly condemn this awful act which divides more than unites people and which puts communities in the world into conflicts that we do not want. I hope that this will not happen again. As I do not accept any act that attacks my faith, I also do not accept it by my Muslim brothers.
Izzat Azeez Habeeb, Asyout, Egypt

We cannot call civilised someone who does not respect other people's feelings. They are insulting the best human being ever and they do not know anything about him. I would prefer to live under a dictatorship for 1,000 years rather than live in an irresponsible freedom that they call democracy.
Ahmad Kafr Addawwar, Egypt

Firstly, freedom of speech should be exercised 100%. Secondly, why are our nations so angry about some cartoons and at the same time they have a never-ending patience towards the leaders who crush our dignity?
Adnan, London, England


I dont know what the fuss is all about. We should be tolerant enough to accept the humour. But I would say that such comedy must not insult people.
Sharad, Korea

Freedom of expression should not be considered as the right to hurt somebody. By insulting the Prophet, European journalists have tried to torture the minds of millions of Muslims around the world. But those who follow the Prophet will pardon these journalists, as these sinners are certainly not the enlightened people.
MSJ Khan, Canada

This is indeed an unfortunate and malicious attempt on the part of the newspaper which carried the cartoon of the Prophet. It is common knowledge that any pictorial depiction, particularly satirical, of the Prophet is forbidden in Islam. But over reaction on the part of the Muslim world is not understandable, particularly when action against the editor has been taken.
Kailash Dan Ratnoo , Nagpur, India

People should have freedom of expression but if it is hurting some section of society, then it is not really healthy for society. The people protesting should not make a living out of this. The situation cannot be changed, so forgive them.
Utpal, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

In the name freedom of speech insulting any religion or religious leader is not justified. The right of expression should not be considered as the right to hurt somebody. If the West wants to lead the world they should avoid such an insane act and try to be as inclusive as possible.
Jolly, New York, USA


I think these are very common matters and happens with the passage of time. Such things have happened in Christianity and other religions but due to their liberalism there was little reaction. I do not think that Muslims should criticise it.
Saleem Wadood, Peshawar, Pakistan

I think this is not fair. Moreover this is not religious freedom. Muslims respect all the prophets of God. This reflects the inner feeling of the West about Islam and Muslims.
Hussain Ahmad Chohan, Karachi, Pakistan

What is in a cartoon? Muslims must let the West publish whatever it can and tell the West they cannot provoke Muslims on these petty issues. Muslims should strive for the eradication of poverty, hunger and disease from their societies and should never follow the so-called religious parties which until recently were getting money from the West.
Qambar Sheedi, Lyari, Karachi, Pakistan

This is a conspiracy of non-Muslims against Islam and Muslims. They want to measure the resistance of Muslims, using such stupid acts to show they are trying to connect Islam with terrorism. In fact Muslims all over the world are waking up and showing their resistance.
Gul Nayab Khan, Pakistan


Why is there so much fuss about these pictures? Do we have to ask permission from a mullah every time we want to publish something? Denmark is a free country with a working court system. If you don't like it you can sue the newspaper. But you do not have to use religion against freedom. Many of those angry European Muslims left their countries to be free.
Genadiy Mixailov, Russia

I am a Muslim. I never shared the view that by blowing up homes and capturing children you can serve God's cause. But these cartoons offended my feelings and religion. During all my life my faith helped me to live. I respect others' right to have their own opinion. But why do they do not respect my feelings?
Elvira, Moscow, Russia

I don't understand why the feelings of religious people should dominate the feelings of secular people. Muslims can consider other religions as infidels but secular people cannot even smile about their faith. This is absurd.
Matroskin, Prostokvashino, Russia

The only way you can judge a cartoon is whether it is smart or stupid. It would be an offence to put it in a mosque or to give it out at a Muslim meeting. Those who did not like it might not buy this newspaper anymore. They have to understand that in Europe freedom of speech has the same value as religion does for Muslims.
Samuil, Israel

Not everyone knows how to laugh. Not everyone can understand the value of freedom. It is a blasphemy to put one God over another.
Sokol, Manchester, UK


Where was the freedom of speech and religious tolerance when the Taleban blew up the Buddha statues in Afghanistan? Many Western thinkers have criticised Christianity. Would it be that Islam cannot accept any kind of criticism? I think examples of this could be found in its intolerance with other beliefs, specially with agnostics and atheists and with the role of women in society.
Carlos Useche, Bogota, Colombia

We have to respect other people's beliefs, which are most sacred. Nobody has the right to hurt this faith. We always have to promote peace between nations.
Iramis Yilales, Caracas, Venezuela

I think that freedom of speech should not be violated in any way, as it is established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To label as a "blasphemy" these cartoons is a biased and self-interested way of dealing with this matter.
Carlos Dominguez, El Salvador

Do Muslim people not believe in a good and gentle God? Muhammad, who was his prophet, follows these characteristics. How can a good and gentle God be lack humour and get mad because of a cartoon? Dear Muslim friends, don't you think you are making this bigger than it is?
Waldemar Carrasquero, Caracas, Venezuela

I think it is an excellent thing to respect everybody's religion, but it is also excellent to preserve the freedom of speech. There are no worse consequences than lack of freedom.
Juan Martinez Pimentel, Mazatlan, Mexico


This caricature is one of the hidden forms maintained by many nations as being a freedom that comes with democracy but it is actually anti-Islam and treacherous.
Nur M.F, Aceh, Indonesia

I personally don't think publishing Prophet Muhammad's cartoon is anything to worry about. It's only a cartoon. Support for Prophet Mohammed should be expressed by carrying out his teachings and keeping away from things he forbids. According to the prophet, we have to do good deeds, and this is what all Muslims should understand.
Zen Sunarto, Lampung, Indonesia


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