Egypt bans Western papers over prophet cartoons

Four international newspapers removed from shelves as row continues.
Egypt bans Western papers over prophet cartoons
By AFP
Wed 20 Feb 2008 02:45 AM

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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