World leaders appeal for end to violence
Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in several European newspapers continue to outrage Muslims around the world. After days of violent protests that have claimed several lives, the conflict has pushed both sides across an unexpected threshold, where they view each other with frustration and suspicion, often trading inflammatory accusations.
As the protests have spread, some Europeans have come to realize that relatively small Muslim minorities - three percent in Britain, four percent in Denmark and around five percent in the European Union - can wield power across the Islamic world. Many moderate Muslims in Denmark have been shocked by the violence and deaths around the world prompted by the row over Danish cartoons using satire to portray the Prophet Muhammad.
According to Voice of America, the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia has called for Muslims to forgive the publication of drawings.
The 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published last year originally appeared in the best-selling Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September to accompany an editorial criticizing self-censorship in the Danish media. Since then some media outlets have republished the pictures in solidarity, while others have refrained from publishing them to avoid causing offense to their audiences.
The backlash resulting from the publishing of the cartoons has prompted fierce debate among journalists. Western dailies cite free speech as the reason for printing the questionable images.
President Bush today pleaded for an end to violence. A leading Muslim organization in Afghanistan is also calling for an end to the violence. Police there shot four protesters to death today to stop hundreds from marching on a southern U.S. military base. Middle East unrest also continues.
This story is taking on a technology angle. The furor over the cartoons is now is being felt on the Internet, where hackers have struck down and defaced hundreds of Danish Web sites over the past week. More from PC World.com.
Related: Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post
Tags: Muhammad Cartoons, Islam, Muslim, Media by Sistrunk