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Friday, February 15, 2008

Protests Spread to Pakistan Over Reprinting of Muhammed Cartoons

Dozens of Islamist students, chanting "Death to the cartoonist" and burning Danish flag in southern Pakistan on Thursday after the republication of the controversial Muhammed cartoons.
Following up on the previous report of continuing rioting in Denmark, we see that the protests are spreading throughout the Muslim world.

The drawing, which depicts Mohammed with a turban resembling a bomb with a lit fuse, triggered fresh uproar in Muslim countries.

In Pakistan, Islamist students are burning the Danish flag and chanting "Death to the Cartoonist".

Jamaat-e-Islami, a right-wing anti-government Islamist party, protested in the Pakistan city of Karachi, had 50 of their members holding banners reading "We strongly condemn the act of insulting the Prophet by the Denmark Press" and "Prime Minister of Denmark and the Pope should apologise to the Muslim community".

The Danish foreign ministry has advised its nationals to avoid unnecessary travel to Pakistan.

In Kuwait, several parliamentarians called for a boycott of Danish goods, according to Waleed al-Tabtabai, a member of parliament, "The government has to take action against Denmark."

Faisal al-Hajji, Kuwait's deputy prime minister said that they would be making an official complaint, further stating "The sons of dogs published drawings that are offensive to the Prophet."

In Tehran, Iran, there was a peaceful protest outside of the Danish embassy, where the ambassador was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to receive a formal protest.

Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, had at least 4,000 protesting on Friday against the reprinting of a cartoons, with one Hamas activist shouting through a loudspeaker, "We are all a sacrifice to the Prophet Mohammad, our blood, our property and our families are all a sacrifice to him."

Masked militants blew up the library of the YMCA in Gaza early Friday, destroying the building but causing no injuries and authorities are investigating whether it also had anything to do with the reprinting of those cartoons.

An Islamic group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (IOC), has warned of a "bigger conflict" over the reprinting of the controversial Muhammed cartoons on Wednesday by Danish, Spanish, Swedish and papers from the Netherlands, in a show of solidarity with the original publications right of free press and free expression.

"By reprinting these cartoons we are heading toward a bigger conflict and that shows that both sides will be hostages of their radicals," OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turk, told AFP in Istanbul.

"It is not a way of improving your rights and exercising your freedoms when you use these rights for insulting the most sacred values and symbols of others and inciting hatred," he said. "This is a very wrong, provocative way - unacceptable."

These protests and riots are spreading fast and news is coming out hourly as this story develops and we will be listing updates as the day goes on.