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A number of Muslim states with embassies in Denmark have complained to the government after a newspaper published cartoons of Muslim prophet Mohammed
Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s decision to print twelve cartoons featuring Muslim prophet Mohammed has caused a stir among Muslim countries, daily newspaper Politiken reported on Thursday.
A number of Muslim countries with embassies in Denmark have sent a protest to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the caricatures.
‘We are hoping for understanding about Muslims’ feelings about Mohammed. And we’re hoping for an apology from Jyllands-Posten,’ said Mascud Effendy Hutasuhut, minister counsellor at the Indonesian Embassy.
In addition to Indonesia, a number of Arab states, Pakistan, Iran, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have complained about the cartoons, which they see as a hate campaign against Muslims in Denmark.
The newspaper urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet after an author complained that nobody dared to illustrate his book on Mohammed. Twelve illustrators heeded the newspaper’s call and sent in cartoons of the prophet, which were published in the newspaper last month.
Jyllands-Posten has called the cartoons a test of whether fear of Islamic retribution has begun to limit the freedom of expression in Denmark.
The caricatures have caused uproar amongst the nation’s Muslims, and security guards were posted around the newspaper’s Copenhagen office after a mentally unstable 17-year-old boy sent death threats to journalists and the illustrators.
Representatives of the Muslim countries have requested a meeting with the prime minister, who is also the minister of press issues, to discuss the cartoons.
The Prime Minister’s Office’s press chief, Michael Ulveman, said the ministry was preparing a reply, but would not give any further comments.
Peter Viggo Jakobsen, department chief at the Danish Institute for International Studies, said the Muslim ambassadors should not get their hopes up.
‘If they have the faintest idea about how a Danish and democratic society works, they should know that the Danish government doesn’t have any say about Jyllands-Posten’s rights of expression,’ Jakobsen said.