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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 11:52 GMT
Cartoon row editor sent on leave
Danish Muslims in Copenhagen protest against the cartoons
The Danish cartoons have provoked a fierce reaction
The Danish editor who commissioned the Prophet Muhammad cartoons at the centre of a global row has been sent on leave.

Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, got the order after saying he might print Iranian cartoons of the Holocaust.

The Danish cartoons, seen by many Muslims as insulting to their faith, have sparked worldwide protests.

Earlier this week, an Iranian newspaper said it was holding a contest inviting cartoonists to depict the Holocaust.

Hamshahri said it wanted to test the boundaries of free speech, echoing the reasons Jyllands-Posten and other European papers have given for publishing the caricatures.

Jesus cartoons

Jyllands-Posten editor-in-chief Carsten Juste told a Danish newspaper that the paper's editors told Rose "to take a vacation because no-one can understand the kind of pressure [Rose] has been under".

I have committed an error - I am 100% with the newspaper's line
Flemming Rose
Culture editor, Jyllands-Posten, on plans to publish Iranian cartoons

Juste, who said the paper would not print the Iranian cartoons, did not say how long Rose would be on holiday.

Earlier this week, the editor of the paper's Sunday edition defended a decision three years ago not to publish five unsolicited cartoons of Jesus' resurrection.

"I turned them down because they were not good - their quality was not good," Jens Kaiser said.

He said he should have been honest with the cartoonist, instead of telling him in an e-mail that readers would not enjoy the drawings because they would "provoke an outcry".

'Tasteless stunt'

On Wednesday, Rose said the paper would consider printing the Iranian cartoons, "but we will not make a decision before we have seen the cartoons".

However, Juste said that the newspaper "in no circumstances will publish Holocaust cartoons from an Iranian newspaper", which he called a "tasteless media stunt".

The Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which has expressed regret for offending Muslims by first publishing the cartoons last year, apologised for Rose's latest comments.

"Flemming Rose has expressed regret for his error of judgement that must be ascribed to the fact that... he has experienced inhumanly hard pressure," Juste said.

Rose also apologised for his comments.

"I have committed an error. I am 100% with the newspaper's line and Carsten Juste in this case," he said in an interview on Danish television.

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