Indonesian Muslims storm Danish embassy because of Muhammad cartoons

Hard-line Muslims in Indonesia stormed a building housing the Danish Embassy and burned the country's flag Friday to protest caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, as outrage over the drawings rippled across Asia. Pakistan's parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning the provocative cartoons, and Singapore's top Islamic advisory body said they were intended to incite hatred.

Rowdy demonstrators in Malaysia chanted "Destroy our Enemies." The 12 cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September and were reprinted in several European newspapers this week in a gesture of press freedom. One of the drawings shows Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb. Another portrays him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, 150 demonstrators pelted the high-rise building housing the Danish Embassy with rotten eggs, then pushed their way past security guards.

Shouting "God is Great," they tried to enter elevators to reach the mission on the building's 25th floor, but were told to stop by protest leaders.

Before leaving the building in the heart of the Indonesian capital's business district, they tore the embassy's flag down and set it on fire.

"We are not terrorists, we are not anarchists, but we are against those people who blaspheme Islam," a protester wearing a white Arabic-style robes shouted outside the building.

Islamic tradition bars depiction of the prophet, favorable or otherwise, to prevent idolatry. The drawings have prompted boycotts of Danish goods, bomb threats and demonstrations against Danish facilities in Muslim nations and sparked debate about freedom of speech.

Afghanistan, like Indonesia, has criticized the drawings. Pakistani lawmakers called them blasphemous before unanimously condemning the caricatures, as hurting "the faith and feelings of Muslims all over the world."

"This vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign cannot be justified in the name of freedom of expression or of the press," parliamentarians said in their resolution. "Freedom also requires responsibility."

A coalition of hard-line Islamic parties said it was planning street protests in major cities. In mostly Muslim Malaysia, about 60 members of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party demonstrated outside Denmark's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur demanding the Danish government stop newspapers from reprinting the drawings.

"It's an uncivilized act, it's heinous," Hanifah Maidin, the party's youth chief, said after submitting a letter of complaint to Danish officials.

Singapore's top Islamic advisory body said the aim of European newspapers was to enrage Muslims and to "incite hatred,” reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team