Malaysia holds biggest anti-cartoon protest

Malaysia outlawed the possession of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad as thousands of Muslims marched Friday in the country's biggest demonstration against the caricatures, calling for the destruction of Denmark, Israel and the U.S.

"Long live Islam. Destroy Denmark. Destroy Israel. Destroy George Bush. Destroy America," shouted angry protesters who marched in a steady rain to the Denmark Embassy from a nearby mosque. Police put their number at about 2,000.

It was the second week that demonstrators have targeted the embassy after Friday prayers. But last week's protest attracted less than 100 people, indicating that anger is growing in Malaysia, viewed as a model of a tolerant, modern Islamic state.

The protest came a day after the government ordered a nationwide ban on possessing or distributing the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper that have outraged the Islamic world, saying they could trigger public tensions.

"You are playing with fire Denmark. We are ready to fight," said Hanifah Maidin of the youth wing of the fundamentalist Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which organized the protest, reports the AP.


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