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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 13:44 GMT
Muslims in new cartoon protests
Pakistani protesters burn the Danish flag in Lahore
Protests against Denmark have spread to many Muslim countries
Fresh protests are being made by Muslims angered by the publication of newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Iraqi, Egyptian and Palestinian Islamic groups have called for demonstrations as Muslims attend Friday prayers.

Denmark's PM has met envoys from Muslim countries as he attempts to calm the anger over the cartoons, which were first published in a Danish newspaper.

The cartoons have since been published by several other European media.

One shows the Prophet wearing a headdress shaped like a bomb.

In another he says paradise is running short of virgins for suicide bombers.

CARTOON ROW
French daily newspaper France Soir open on cartoon page
30 Sept: Danish paper publishes cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors complain to Danish PM
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office demanding apology
31 Jan: Danish paper apologises
1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons

Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet or Allah.

In the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, dozens of protesters from the Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) forced their way into a high-rise building housing the Danish embassy.

Demonstrators pushed their way into the lobby but were prevented from reaching the embassy itself, on the 25th floor.

They pelted Danish symbols in the lobby and outside the building with rotten eggs and tomatoes, and one report said they tore down and burned a Danish flag.

The group dispersed about an hour later, after the Danish ambassador agreed to publish an apology in the local media.

The incident happened after an Indonesian newspaper posted the cartoons on its website. It was later forced to take them down.

In other developments:

  • Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani condemned the publication, but said militant Islamists were partly to blame for distorting the image of Islam

  • Western journalists and aid workers were reportedly leaving the Palestinian territories, fearing attack

  • Hundreds of students demonstrated in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan, although the BBC's Zaffar Abbas said the protests were low-key by Pakistani standards

  • The Pakistani upper house of parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning the cartoons

  • Editors of Jordanian and French newspapers who chose to republish the cartoons were dismissed.

Mr Rasmussen has said the issue of the cartoons has gone beyond Denmark to become a clash between Western free speech and Islamic taboos.

The cartoons originated in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten paper and have been reprinted in newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain - saying they were exercising their right to free speech.

Jyllands-Posten has apologised for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintains it was legal under Danish law to print the cartoons.


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