[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 14:18 GMT
World press eyes cartoon controversy
World press

Newspapers across the globe debate the controversy over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad, with Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, which originally commissioned the drawings, blaming some Muslim religious leaders for spreading "lies and misinformation".

One Arabic commentator urges a stronger reaction from the Islamic world, saying that refusing "to buy a kilogram of cheese" is not enough.

But papers in Asia argue that any protests should maintain a sense of proportion, with one Pakistani commentator saying "legal and political challenges are more effective than the burning of flags or death threats".

DENMARK'S JYLLANDS-POSTEN

We had no way of knowing that a group of Imams would travel to the Middle East and spread lies and misinformation not only about Jyllands-Posten, but about Danish society as a whole... Boycotting Danish produce can be accepted, but real-life death threats cross the line between the acceptable and the unacceptable.


DENMARK'S POLITIKEN

If, God forbid, the case should end in violence, as threatened by Islamists, the drawing of the Prophet with a bomb in his turban will in all likelihood be found on the front page of Politiken. Not because the Prophet of Islam is a symbol of terror, but because the religion he started will have been abused.


DENMARK'S BERLINGSKE TIDENDE

An apology extracted by force is as we all know as undignified for the sender and as invalid for the recipient as a forced confession... Apologising to Muslims worldwide is clearly meaningless. The vast majority of them have not seen the drawings.


SERGE FAUBERT IN FRANCE SOIR

It is not religion that is being called into question, but rather intolerance. Faiths are not being targeted, but the outrageous intentions of some people who want to impose their commandments on those who do not share their beliefs.


YVES THERARD IN FRANCE'S LE FIGARO

To depict the Prophet as a terrorist is an act of stupidity rather than heroism. People are praising the courage of the authors, but what sort of courage is it?... In the current international situation, the world's Arab and Muslim populations see this as pretext to rage against the heathen West. The violence of their reactions is intolerable... But it is also possible to misuse the freedom of the press.


ANTOINE DE GAUDEMAR IN FRANCE'S LIBERATION

The strength of freedom and democracy is that it allows even their enemies to express themselves, while respecting the law.


NORWAY'S AFTENPOSTEN

What we need now is for moderate voices among Muslims worldwide to take charge and calm the debate, and for them to be met with respect in our country and in other countries. For one starting point must be shared: None of the parties can or will accept threats.


FEHMI KORU IN TURKEY'S YENI SAFAK

In today's atmosphere, when minds are clouded by the 'clash of civilizations' thesis, the real danger that will spark a clash could be the perception that the West is attempting to attack the divine entities of Islam. The situation is rapidly being escalated to this level of tension.


HUNGARY'S NEPSZABADSAG

We express solidarity with Jyllands-Posten not only because they are our colleagues, but because we also believe that religious dogmas have no place in democracies which separate the church and the state... No-one has the right to threaten violence, mainly because this action would offend the Prophet.


UK'S DAILY TELEGRAPH

The right to offend within the law remains crucial to our free speech. Muslims who choose to live in the West must accept that we too have a right to our values, and to live according to them... Those Muslims who cannot tolerate the openness and robustness of intellectual debate in the West have perhaps chosen to live in the wrong culture.


UK'S THE GUARDIAN

It is one thing to assert the right to publish an image of the Prophet... but it is another thing to put that right to the test, especially when to do so inevitably causes offence to many Muslims... That is why the restraint of most of the British press may be the wiser course - at least for now. There has to be a very good reason for giving gratuitous offence of this kind.

ABD-AL-RAHMAN AL-SHAYKH IN SAUDI ARABIA'S AL-RIYAD

The issue of insulting and ridiculing the [Prophet Muhammad] is larger than can be confronted by the refusal of a citizen to buy a kilogram of cheese, a tin of butter or a tin of milk from a supermarket because it is manufactured in the country of the newspaper publishing the pictures.


MUKHLID AL-FA'URI IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

The extent of the repeated offence against Islam and against the person of [Prophet Muhammad] by the scum of the Danish press is a matter which calls for provocation and disgust for that bad group of people who chose journalism as a profession.


QATAR'S AL-WATAN

European leaders should change their attitudes and remember that Islam has become the second religion in a number of European countries.


YEMEN'S AL-THAWRAH

There is nothing to prevent the governments of Denmark, Norway, France and others from adopting a responsible position towards the campaign to insult the noble messenger [Prophet Muhammad] and harm the Islamic nation at the heart of its belief.


PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

Despite the great insult, uncalculated responses - especially attacks on European nationals in the Muslim world - do not go hand in hand with the morals of Islam and its Prophet because they are the Muslims' guests, and protecting them is a sacred obligation.


AHMAD DAHBUR IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

The Danish caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad and Islam are a snowball rolling down the hill and getting bigger and bigger... Thus an insulting pincer movement closed down on us from two directions: the slander against our faith and our presentation as tyrants who do not recognise freedom of expression.

SINGAPORE'S BERITA HARIAN

All of these religiously offensive actions have been carried out in the name of freedom of speech. Has the West lost its sensitivity to respect for religious rights? ... It is right for Muslims to protest, but it needs to be done wisely and proportionally for the sake of maintaining the image of Islam.


SHIREEN MAZARI IN PAKISTAN'S THE NATION

The hypocrisy and falsehoods surrounding [Europe's] claim to "freedom of expression" is what needs to be exposed. Legal and political challenges are far more effective than simply burning flags or death threats which only undermine the strong case that Muslims have against these forces of hate in Europe.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Depicting the Prophet Muhammad
02 Feb 06 |  Middle East
In quotes: Reaction to cartoons
02 Feb 06 |  Middle East
Cartoon outrage bemuses Denmark
01 Feb 06 |  Europe
Arab ministers condemn cartoons
31 Jan 06 |  Middle East


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific