Iranian ambassador to Denmark condemns blasphemous cartoons

February 5, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Iranian Ambassador to Denmark Ahmad Daniali added his voice to the worldwide condemnations of the blasphemous cartoons first published in a Danish tabloid and which have found their way into a number of European newspapers.

The offensive cartoons, which are a mockery of Islam's holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), first appeared in a Danish tabloid last September. These were later reprinted in newspapers in Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary sparking outrage and demonstrations in many Muslim countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran will definitely take measures to prevent Muslim anger from going out of control, the Iranian envoy noted at a meeting with the Danish prime minister and ambassadors based in Copenhagen.

His remarks came after angry Muslims, following Friday prayers in many countries, stormed into streets, set ablaze the Danish flag and vowed revenge for the blasphemous cartoons published on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The Danish government has been called upon to make an official apology and take the necessary initiative or action to prevent Muslim outrage from intensifying, he was quoted as saying by the Information and Press Department of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

He stressed that Iran would definitely give its response on the matter so as to forestall similar incidents in the future.

"If Islamophobia is not kept under control in the west, including in Denmark, the situation would become worse," he warned.

Undoubtedly, freedom of speech has limits in any country and one cannot just ignore the over one billion Muslims and, in the name of freedom of speech, insult their religious beliefs, he pointed out.

Today, all nations and governments take into account the varying religious beliefs and values of the world in accordance with international law and ethics, said the Iranian envoy.

He underscored the fact that Islam rules out blasphemy and said that just as Muslims would object to profanity committed on other divine religions it demands respect to their religion as well.

All Islamic countries including Iran have urged the Danish government to resolve the issue reasonably, he said, adding that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was expected to acknowledge the mistake and hold talks to rectify it.

Rasmussen had earlier said that the Danish government would never apologize on behalf of a free and independent newspaper.

Unfortunately, the government has failed to restore calm and Muslims in Islamic countries as far away as Indonesia are continuing their protests in defense of Islam and their holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), he concluded.