About 500 Muslims rallied in Bangladesh's capital of Dhaka on Friday to protest the publication of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad in European newspapers, police and organizers said. Many devotees spontaneously joined the protest rally in downtown Dhaka outside the country's main mosque after weekly prayers in the afternoon, chanting: "Apologize to Muslims!"
No violence was immediately reported, said a Dhaka Metropolitan police official on condition of anonymity in line with official policy. "The whole Muslim world is shocked and outraged. The governments of the respective countries must apologize to the Muslim world," Mohiuddin Ahmed, a leader of the hard-line Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Bangladesh, told supporters at the rally.
He also demanded that the government summon the envoys of Denmark, where the drawings were first published, and other countries where the cartoons were published.
The government yet to make any official comment over the issue. The drawings, which were first published in September in Denmark's largest broadsheet, Jyllands-Posten, have sparked widespread anger in the Muslim world, including demonstrations and boycotts of Danish products.
Several newspapers around Europe reproduced the drawings this week, mostly as expressions of freedom of the press. The cartoons included an image of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, reports the AP.