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Anger over images of Mohammad spreads
Updated: 2006-02-03 19:50

PARIS - Outrage spread across the Islamic world on Friday over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, as Muslims condemned them as "blasphemous" and more European newspapers published them, arguing freedom of speech was sacred.

An Indonesian Muslim militant shouts a slogan in front of a building housing the Danish embassy in Jakarta February 3, 2006.
An Indonesian Muslim militant shouts a slogan in front of a building housing the Danish embassy in Jakarta February 3, 2006. [Reuters]
Up to 300 militant Indonesian Muslims went on a rampage in the lobby of a building housing the Danish embassy in Jakarta.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), they smashed lamps with bamboo sticks, threw chairs, lobbed rotten eggs and tomatoes and tore up a Danish flag. No one was hurt.

The drawings have touched off international fury as well as a debate on the clash between freedom of speech and respect for religion.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen summoned foreign envoys in Copenhagen to discuss the outcry and the government's response to the publication of the drawings, which first appeared in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin said the dispute was not just between Jakarta and Copenhagen.

"It involves the whole Islamic world vis-a-vis Denmark and vis-a-vis the trend of Islamophobia," he said.

Pakistan's parliament on Friday passed a resolution condemning the cartoons as "blasphemous and derogatory." Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous. Among the Danish drawings, one depicted him in a turban resembling a bomb.

"This vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign cannot be justified in the name of freedom of expression or of the press," the Senate resolution said.

Denmark's Rasmussen, who was to meet ambassadors later on Friday, said the issue was a question of free speech and he could not control what appeared in the Danish media.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy condemned the protests.

"I am totally shocked and find it unacceptable that -- because there have been caricatures in the West -- extremists can burn flags or take fundamentalist or extremist positions which would prove the cartoonists right," he told LCI television.

Danish companies have reported sales falling in the Middle East after protests in the Arab world and calls for boycotts.
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