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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 11:55 GMT
Pakistan bans Newsweek magazine
Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh
Van Gogh had made a controversial film critical of Islamic culture
The latest issue of US news magazine Newsweek has been banned in Pakistan for publishing material that "desecrates the Koran".

A district magistrate in the capital, Islamabad, ordered all copies of the 22 November issue to be destroyed.

The issue contains an article about murdered Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh and pictures of a woman with Koranic verses inscribed on her body.

Islamic parties said the article showed Western bias against Muslims.

Controversial film

Magistrate Tariq Mahmood Pirzada said the article, Clash of Civilisations, "contained some objectionable remarks which are tantamount to desecration of the Koran".

Authorities said they were considering legal action against the publication, although they gave no further details.

The ban may have little effect on sales - the 22 November issue has already been superseded by the 29 November edition.

An Islamabad vendor told Associated Press Television News the 22 November issue had sold 50% more than other editions of the magazine.

The Dawn newspaper said the article was a "naked attack on Muslims' faith. It hurts the feelings of over a billion inhabitants of this Earth".

Van Gogh, 47, had made a controversial film critical of Islamic culture.

Intended to illustrate domestic violence in Muslim societies, it featured images of Koranic verses daubed on semi-naked women.

He was shot and stabbed to death in Amsterdam on 2 November.

Several men, all believed to be Islamic radicals, have been arrested in connection with his death. The alleged killer is Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan.

Mosques in several Dutch cities have been the targets of vandalism and failed arson attempts since the killing.

How van Gogh's murder has shaken Netherlands

Dutch step up Muslim protection
08 Nov 04 |  Europe
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08 Nov 04 |  Europe
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03 Nov 04 |  Europe
Life of slain Dutch filmmaker
02 Nov 04 |  Entertainment

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