Indonesia judges Danish newspaper over Prophet Mohammed cartoons

Indonesia on Thursday joined other Muslim nations in criticizing a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, even as a local paper risked public anger by running one of the drawings on its Web site. "Indonesia is also a democracy that upholds freedom of expression, but such freedom cannot be used as a pretext to insult a religion," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin said.

The 12 drawings, which first ran in a Danish newspaper in September, have prompted boycotts of Danish goods and bomb threats and demonstrations against Danish facilities in the Muslim world. Other European newspapers reprinted them Wednesday, saying they were defending freedom of expression.

One depicts Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet, favorable or otherwise, to prevent idolatry.

Public reaction to the cartoons in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has so far not been as extreme as in some other Islamic nations.

On Thursday, Indonesian newspaper Rakyat Merdeka published the cartoon of Muhammad with the bomb-shaped turban on its Web site to accompany a story on the uproar over the cartoons elsewhere in the Islamic world.

Editors at the newspaper covered his eyes with a red banner to avoid the image being "vulgar," according to the caption. The Web site's editor, Teguh Santosa, said the newspaper "just wanted to inform the public, not raise the fury of the Muslim people here."

But at least one Indonesian lawmaker protested the decision to republish the photo, according to news portal, reports the AP. I.L.

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