Angry Muslims Clash in Dhaka Over Offensive "Cat" Cartoon
The “cat” cartoon offended their religion.
Activists of the Islamic student group Bangladesh Students Majlish set fire to copies of the Prothom Alo newspaper and their magazine Weekly 2000, during a protest after Friday prayers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Sept. 21, 2007. The activists demanded a ban on the paper and magazine after they published cartoons that Muslims said insulted their religion, police and the government said. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)
Police broke up a protest today by hundreds of angry Muslims upset over the publication of an offensive cat cartoon.
Dhaka, 21 Sept. (AKI) – Police in Bangladesh broke up a protest by hundreds of Muslims in the capital Dhaka over the publication of a cartoon that they say offended their religion.
A report on the local newspaper The Daily Star said that several hundred activists of six Islamic organisations began the protest march outside the capital’s Baitul Mokarram mosque after Friday prayers.
Bangladesh’s caretaker government suspended the publication, Alpin, a weekly satire magazine of leading Bengali daily Prothom Alo. The magazine’s publishers also apologised and appealed for forgiveness for the drawing.
The cartoon shows a small boy referring to his cat as “Mohammad cat”. The image provoked outrage and protestors said that it was a deliberate attempt to ridicule Islam’s Prophet Mohammad.
The cartoonist, Arifur Rahman, was arrested on 17 September by the police.
The Daily Star reports that the editors from several leading newspapers including Prothom Alo have appealed for forgiveness.
The editors urged the country’s religious leaders or ulema to consider the newspaper’s apology and also called for calm and restraint.
Paris-based press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, has called for the release of Arifur Rahman.
The demonstrators demanded the execution of the paper’s editor, Matiur Rahman- BBC.
Activists of Hizb ut Tahrir, Bangladesh, set fire to copies of the Prothom Alo newspaper, during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007. (AP)
Riot policemen baton charge activists of the Islamic student group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, to disperse them as they march towards the office of Prothom Alo newspaper during a protest after Friday prayers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Sept. 21, 2007. The activists demanded a ban on the paper and their magazine Weekly 2000 after they published cartoons that Muslims said insulted their religion, police and the government said. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)
Charles Johnson posted the offensive cartoon.
Third World View has much more on the protests from Bangladesh.