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November 20, 2010

Danish Foreign Minister Helps to Defuse Caricatures Tension

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — Charlie Anson @ 12:08 pm

The Danish Foreign Minister has made an attempt to defuse some of the tension that was caused by caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed which offended many Muslims.

After meeting with a top Egyptian cleric, the Foreign Minister said she had found the cartoon caricatures “very regrettable.”

Lene Espersen was speaking after a book was published with caricatures denoting Mohammed under the heading, ‘The Tyranny of Silence.’

These caricature cartoons were published five years ago in the Jyllands-Postens newspaper which led to rioting and massive demonstrations in a number of Muslim countries. It also led to the death of a number of people in Nigeria in 2006.

Although the book has not printed copies of the pictures individually, it does show the front page of the newspaper in which the pictures had appeared.

Speaking at a press conference in Cairo, Ms Expersen stated that she recognised the pain felt by many Muslims when the pictures were published five years ago.

She said: “I would just like to make it clear that this was something we found very regrettable and didn’t wish to see it repeated. The Danish government respects all religious creeds and communities and condemns any attempt to demonise groups of people on the basis of religion or their ethnic background.”

The pictures sparked a lot of controversy and outrage when they were initially published as they depicted the Prophet Mohammed with a lit bomb in his turban.

A violent response ensued and an Iraqi Kurd was arrested in Norway as part of a plan to commit an attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper headquarters.

Dia Rashwan, from the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies has claimed that the actions of the Danish Foreign Minister would, “play a large role in calming tensions.”

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