Denmark: Imam demands apology for Mohammed cartoonsImam demands apology for Mohammed cartoons
Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten is facing accusations that it deliberately provoked and insulted Muslims by publishing twelve cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed. The newspaper urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet, after an author complained that nobody dared to illustrate his book on Mohammed. The author claimed that illustrators feared that extremist Muslims would find it sacrilegious to break the Islamic ban on depicting Mohammed. Twelve illustrators heeded the newspaper's call, and sent in cartoons of the prophet, which were published in the newspaper one week ago. Daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad said one Muslim, at least, had taken offence. 'This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims,' Imam Raed Hlayhel wrote in a statement. 'Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world. We demand an apology!' Jyllands-Posten described the cartoons as a defence for 'secular democracy and right to expression'. Hlayhel, however, said the newspaper had abused democracy with the single intention of humiliating Muslims. Lars Refn, one of the cartoonists who participated in the newspaper's call to arms, said he actually agreed with Hlayhel. Therefore, his cartoon did not feature the prophet Mohammed, but a normal Danish schoolboy Mohammed, who had written a Persian text on his schoolroom's blackboard. 'On the blackboard it says in Persian with Arabic letters that 'Jyllands-Posten's journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs',' Refn said. 'Of course we shouldn't let ourselves be censored by a few extremist Muslims, but Jyllands-Posten's only goal is to vent the fires as soon as they get the opportunity. There's nothing constructive in that.' Flemming Rose, cultural editor at the newspaper, denied that the purpose had been to provoke Muslim. It was simply a reaction to the rising number of situations where artists and writers censured themselves out of fear of radical Islamists, he said. 'Religious feelings cannot demand special treatment in a secular society,' he added. 'In a democracy one must from time to time accept criticism or becoming a laughingstock.' It is not the first time Hlayhel has created headlines in Denmark. One year ago, he became the target of criticism from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, when he said in a sermon during Friday prayer, that Danish women's behaviour and dress invited rape.
Here's what imam Hlayhel has said before:
“Women who go to hairdressers will go to hell”
Raed Hleihel, an imam visiting from Århus, told men at the congregation to go home and make sure their wives and daughters draped every inch of their bodies with clothing. ‘I would like a Muslim girl to name one heavenly wise man, who permitted her to wear only a light veil over her hair and claim she was veiled, although her body was visible,’ Hleihel said. ‘A woman who wants to call herself a believer must cover herself completely, according to the sharia rules.’ The imam went as far as saying that women who went to the hairdresser’s and wore perfume would go to Hell. When news broke of the sermon, integration consultants and politicians rallied to denounce it as ‘medieval’ and ‘bigoted.’ The congregation’s spokesman, Kasem Said Ahmed, said the imam expressed his own personal views in his sermon. Nevertheless, the Islamic Religious Community taped the sermon and took it upon itself to distribute it to schoolgirls in Muslim private schools, so that they and their parents could follow Hleihel’s instructions, daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Monday.
Here's what one of is colleagues has said about Danish women:
Political uproar after mufti's remarks
An Islamic mufti in Copenhagen, Shahid Mehdi, has sparked political outcry from the left-wing Unity List and right-wing Danish People's Party, after stating in a televised interview that women who do not wear headscarves are "asking for rape."