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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 22:49 GMT
Saudi paper 'shut' in cartoon row
By Sebastian Usher
BBC World media correspondent

Saudi supermarket announcing the boycott of Danish goods
Saudis have begun boycotting Danish products
A newspaper in Saudi Arabia has stopped publishing after printing some of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Shams (Sun) has been suspended as part of an investigation into its decision to publish the cartoons that have caused anger across the Muslim world.

It printed them next to articles urging Saudis to take action against Denmark where the cartoons first appeared.

Three weeks ago, Shams became one of few newspapers in the Arab world to print some of the cartoons.

The paper, which is aimed at the country's young people, said it was doing so to mobilise the campaign in Saudi Arabia against Denmark.

But whatever the motive behind it, the mere fact of publishing the cartoons does not seem to have gone down well with the authorities.

Sources in Saudi Arabia have told the BBC that the ministry of media and culture has launched an investigation into the paper's decision to print the images.

As a result, they say that the ministry has now suspended the paper.

Executives at Shams contacted by the BBC did not wish to confirm this, but the paper did not appear on Monday.

Controversial articles

Shams was started just two months ago in a tabloid format aimed directly at Saudi young people.

There has been nothing like it on Saudi news stands before.

It has tackled issues in fresh ways - such as the role of women in Saudi Arabia - as well as reporting on entertainment, culture and sport in a style tailored for the young.

Sources in Saudi Arabia have told the BBC that some of its articles have stirred controversy by going against the prevailing views of the conservative establishment that runs the country.


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