Hundreds of Muslims in Thailand protest over cartoons outside Danish Embassy

About 400 Muslims stomped on Denmark's flag outside the country's embassy in Bangkok on Monday in a protest over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad that have triggered Muslim anger around the world.

Protesters, some carrying signs reading "Freedom of Speech Is Not Freedom To Lie" and "Saying Sorry Is Not Enough", called on the Danish government to forcefully come out against the cartoons. Some speakers hinted at violence, one saying "we could burn this embassy down if we wanted", while others called for a boycott of Danish goods.

Protesters marched from a nearby park to the embassy in central Bangkok, then sat on a road outside the building and listened to speakers. A barricade was set up at the gate of the embassy and about a dozen police officers guarded the entrance.

As a result of the protest, the embassy was closed to visitors until further notice, said Ambassador Ulrik Helweg Larsen. He said he offered to meet with protesters but they refused.

The caricatures of the prophet were first printed in one of Denmark's largest newspapers in September and reprinted in recent weeks in several European newspapers and one in Jordan as a gesture of solidarity in favor of free speech. The images,  condemned by Muslims as blasphemous,  have sparked protests by Muslims around the world with angry protesters torching Danish embassies in Beirut, Lebanon and Syria.

Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he personally disapproves of the caricatures and any attacks on religion, but insisted he cannot apologize on behalf of his country's independent press.

One of the demonstration's leaders, Suwit Sasanapichit, said protesters opposed the Danish prime minister's stance, reports the AP.


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