Denmark to launch massive campaign to restore image in Muslim world

Denmark will launch a "massive" public relations campaign to repair its tattered reputation in the Muslim world following the prophet cartoon crisis, the prime minister said in an interview published Friday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said false rumors about Denmark had created an erroneous image of the Nordic country, in the firestorm triggered by a Danish newspaper's publication of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

"We're really talking about a goal-oriented, massive and offensive campaign," the premier was quoted as saying by financial newspaper Boersen.

"The picture of Denmark that has been drawn is a false picture," said Fogh Rasmussen, who has called the crisis the Scandinavian country's biggest foreign policy challenge since World War II. "We must offensively do what is needed to correct that picture."

However, he did not list any specific measures the government would take.

The Danish government has been criticized by Muslim countries for not apologizing for the cartoons published in Jyllands-Posten on Sept. 30. The government says it cannot be held responsible for the actions of Denmark 's independent media.

The drawings were seen as an insult to Muhammad and sparked violent protests and consumer boycotts against Denmark in the Muslim world. Sunni Muslim tradition bans any image of the prophet, since depicting him risks insulting him or encouraging idolatry.

The government claims Denmark 's image in the Muslim world has been tarnished by false rumors, including that the government was planning a censored version of the Quran, reports the AP.

D.M.