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Wed 20 Feb 2008 02:45 AM

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Egypt bans Western papers over prophet cartoons

Four international newspapers removed from shelves as row continues.

Egypt has banned the sale of four international newspapers for printing pictures "offensive to the prophet Mohammed", the official Mena news agency reported on Tuesday.

Under a decree issued by Information Minister Anas al-Fiqi, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Welt, Britain's Observer and the US Wall Street Journal will not be sold, Mena said.

"Any newspaper or magazine which publishes anything offensive to the prophet... and reprints the offensive caricatures of the prophet or anything offensive to the three heavenly religions will be banned," Fiqi said.

It was not immediately clear which day's editions were banned.

Last week, at least 17 Danish newspapers published the controversial cartoon, vowing to defend freedom of expression a day after Danish police said they had foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist.

The caricature, featuring prophet Mohammed wearing a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse, was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper that sparked bloody riots in the Islamic world.

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Firozali A. Mulla MBA PhD 12 years ago

All Muslim countries ought to do the same in line with the demos held in Denmark. After all the Muslims have contributed a lot to the economy of the Denmark and need to be placed exactly in line with the public citizen's rights, no tolerance of one religion is one weak link in a chain and that is not a good policy for Denmark or any country. The UK opposed this. So why Denmark carries on this childlike attitude? Firozali A.Mulla MBA PhD

ABUSIDRA 12 years ago

Further to the comments of brother Firozali, the attitude of Danish newspapers is not childish, infact thoughtful & cunning provacation to come on global media stage the other way. Or else there is no logic, no moral, no reason to incite a people (which they know cares more for their prophet even over their own blood relatives). Developments in Kosovo, fast conversions, worldwide acceptance of Sciences in accordance with Quran all this is a chain which is being tried to break as always and countered by way of deception, coercion, wrong information etc. But at the end Truth shall prevail. The more they try to make fun of Islam the more they themselves become laughing stock.

N. A. Mirza 12 years ago

February 20, 2008 It’s a move to weaken the Muslim solidarity and unity. Muslims all over the world need not get provoked with the reprinting of controversial cartoons on Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It may be even be a conspiracy to divert Muslims' attention and engage them in flare-up activities which ultimately help the publishers sell more copies of the newspapers while the Muslims will protest and the Muslims countries will boycott the Danish products. Past experience shows the boycott did not work and after a few days the Danish products were in the shelves of the supermarkets. What is needed at this and all the time for the Muslims is to keep their cool, be patient and plan long term strategies with options. Hitting the miscreants financially could one of the strategies but before that the Muslims countries will have to avoid dependence in every walk of life. This will automatically yield positive results. N.A. Mirza

Anne Jones 12 years ago

This is ridiculous. The Danish papers have reprinted the cartoons in protest at the death threats against the cartoonist - something entirely glossed over by the previous comments. He published cartoons in a country whose laws permitted him too, in an accepted medium, within the remit of the publication. You may not like it, but it isn't a country that abides by the laws of Muslim countries. The prophet Mohammed (PBUH) may be important to Muslims but in a western country - that does not abide by Muslim values - he is not above comment. People who do not share your religion should not be expected to share your views. And before we launch into the "freedom of speech/ we should respect other people's values and views" argument, I'd like to say that I am grossly offended by numerous practices in the Middle East (permitted domestic violence, the practices of the religious police in Saudi Arabia, the treatment of domestic and labour workers in both the UAE and Saudi...and the list goes on) but I recognise that they don't abide by the laws of western countries. And I don't advocate murder as an answer to these issues, which all of you - by protesting against the papers and saying nothing about the death threats to the cartoonist's - are effectively endorsing.

Didi Ala 12 years ago

Anne Jones completely missed the point of the whole issue.‎ Moreover, where did you get the idea that Muslims think that the Prophet (PBUH) is above ‎comment!!!‎ Muslims believe that ALL Prophets - and in fact every human being for that matter - are above ‎insults, derision and mockery.‎ Your comments are ridiculous!‎ If Muslims wanted to kill every one who was offensives them or the Prophets, there would have ‎been massacres.‎ There are many books that study history, and some of them accuse the Prophet (PBUH) with ‎many false claims, and these books are SOLD in almost all Muslim countries, because they ‎are presenting their views in a scientific way.‎ As for the rest of your topic, talk is very cheap!‎ Many westerns live in Muslim countries, and many Muslims live in western countries.‎ After 9/11 almost all Muslims in every western country faced a hell of difficult times, threats, ‎harassments, injuries and even death.‎ As for the westerns living with us, ask them, did any one say any thing to them when Muslim ‎countries were invaded, hundred of thousands Muslims were killed, many tortured in Abu ‎Ghraib, ... etc. ‎ Ask the westerners living in Muslim countries.‎ Don't let your prejudice and emotions control you.‎ Think positively. ‎

tanweermahmoodallah 12 years ago

The Egyptians are the only Islamic country that took a stand against the West! All Islamic countries should ban Danish products completely, then we will see how "freedom of speech" will be supported. Individual boycotts will do very little.