from English Aljazeera
Imam offers reward to kill cartoonists
17 February 2006
The cartoons were first published in Denmark last September
A Pakistani Muslim preacher and his followers have offered
rewards amounting to more than $1 million for killing the
Danish cartoonists who drew caricatures of Prophet Muhammad
that have enraged the Muslim world.
offered the bounty during Friday prayers as Muslim anger
over the cartoons flared anew in parts of Asia.
global protests have triggered fears of a clash of
civilisations between the West and Islam, and have led to
calls on all sides for calm.
Friday, thousands rallied in Pakistan; police in Bangladesh
blocked demonstrators heading for the Danish embassy in
Dhaka and in the Indian city of Hyderabad, police fired
teargas shells and batons to beat back hundreds of
protesters, who had stoned shops and disrupted traffic.
temporarily shut its embassy in Islamabad citing security
reasons, while Pakistan recalled its ambassador from
Copenhagen for consultations.
in Pakistan this week have resulted in at least five deaths
and hundreds of detentions, and on Friday it became the
latest country where Denmark has decided to temporarily
close its embassy.
The Danish foreign ministry also issued a travel warning for
Pakistan, urging Danes to leave as soon as possible.
"If the West can place a
bounty on Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri, we can also
announce reward for killing the man who has caused
this sacrilege of the holy prophet"
Maulana Yousef Qureshi, Pakistani preacher
north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, Maulana Yousef
Qureshi said he had personally offered to pay a bounty of
500,000 rupees ($8400) to anyone who killed a Danish
cartoonist, and two of his congregation put up additional
rewards of $1 million and one million rupees plus a car.
West can place a bounty on Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri, we
can also announce reward for killing the man who has caused
this sacrilege of the holy Prophet," Qureshi told Reuters,
referring to the al-Qaida leader and his deputy Ayman
leads the congregation at the historic Mohabat mosque, on a
street known for goldsmith shops in the provincial capital
of North West Frontier Province - a stronghold of Pakistan's
Islamist opposition parties.
cartoons were first published in Denmark last September; but
last month newspapers and magazines in Europe and elsewhere
began republishing to assert principles of freedom of
believe images of the Prophet are forbidden.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said it was recalling its own
ambassador from Copenhagen for consultations. It did not
Danish ambassador in Islamabad said, however, that relations
had not been broken off because of the furore.
"I'm still in Pakistan and in a secure place," Bent
Wigotski, the ambassador, told Reuters.
Protests in Pakistan have been
large and violent
is no question of broken relations or anything like that,"
he said, adding that the German embassy was looking after
Denmark's consular affairs.
has already shut its missions in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and
Indonesia as a result of violence or threats of violence.
in Pakistan have been large and violent and many have taken
on a distinctly anti-US tone. Demonstrators, in addition to
burning Danish flags, have attacked US fast-food outlets and
burned George Bush, the US president, in effigy.
parties have called for a nationwide strike on 3 March,
around the time President Bush is expected to visit
Pakistan, despite the unrest.
Appeals for reason
leaders have been calling for calm.
Clinton, the former US president, and Jacques Chirac, the
French president, both said on Friday that it was a mistake
to publish the cartoons.
Clinton, on a private visit to Pakistan, said he saw nothing
wrong with Muslims around the world demonstrating in a
peaceful way, but he feared a great opportunity to improve
understanding had been squandered.
Clinton said he saw nothing wrong
with the Muslim reaction
not a time to burn bridges; this is a time to build them,"
he said, adding: "I can tell you that most people are
horrified that this much misunderstanding has occurred."
was blunt. "I am appalled by what happened as a result of
the publications of these cartoons," Chirac told India Today
news magazine which published an interview with him on
of course, in favour of the freedom of the press, which is a
pillar of democracy. But I am equally for respecting
everyone's sensibilities... So I deplore the situation,"
said Chirac, who visits India next week.