Skip to comments.Cleric Offers $1M Cartoon Fatwah Bounty
Posted on 02/17/2006 8:50:21 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
A Pakistani cleric announced Friday a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad, as thousands joined street protests and Denmark temporarily closed its embassy and advised its citizens to leave the country.
Police confined the former leader of an Islamic militant group to his home to prevent him from addressing supporters over the cartoons, amid fears he could incite violence, after riots this week killed five people.
Security forces were out in strength, particularly around government offices and Western businesses, as Muslims streamed onto the streets after Friday prayers. More than 200 people were detained, but most gatherings were peaceful.
In neighboring India, police used batons and tear gas to disperse thousands of angry worshippers who rioted in the southern city of Hyderabad. They burned Danish flags, pelted police with stones, and looted shops. Hundreds more protested in Bangladesh.
In the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, prayer leader Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi announced the bounty for killing a cartoonist to about 1,000 people outside the Mohabat Khan mosque.
Qureshi said the mosque and his religious school would give $25,000 and a car, while a local jewelers' association would give another $1 million. No representative of the association was available to confirm it had made the offer.
"This is a unanimous decision by all imams (prayer leaders) of Islam that whoever insults the prophet deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize," Qureshi said.
Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement. He did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures.
A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, first printed the prophet pictures by 12 cartoonists in September. The newspaper has since apologized to Muslims for the cartoons, one of them showing Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with an ignited fuse. Other Western newspapers, mostly in Europe, have reprinted the pictures, asserting their news value and the right to freedom of expression.
In Islamabad, former U.S. President Bill Clinton criticized the cartoons but said Muslims wasted an opportunity to build better ties with the West by holding violent protests.
"I can tell you, most people in the United States deeply respect Islam ... and most people in Europe do," he said on a visit to sign an HIV-AIDS project by his foundation.
Denmark announced it had temporarily closed its embassy in Pakistan. It also advised against all travel to Pakistan and urged Danes still in the country to leave.
"We have decided to do so because of the general security situation in the country," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Thuesen said.
Denmark has already temporarily closed its embassies in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Indonesia after anti-Danish protests and threats against staff.
Pakistan, meanwhile, recalled its ambassador to Denmark for "consultations" about the cartoons, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.
Unrest over the cartoons has spiraled in Pakistan, even as it has ebbed in the rest of Asia and in the Middle East. Big riots in Lahore and Peshawar this week caused millions of dollars in damage, as hundreds of vehicles were burned and protesters targeted numerous U.S. and other foreign-brand businesses, including KFC, McDonald's, Citibank, Holiday Inn and Norwegian cell phone company Telenor.
Intelligence officials have said scores of members of radical and militant Islamic groups, such as Jamaat al-Dawat, joined the unruly protests in Lahore on Tuesday and had incited violence in a bid to undermine President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government.
On Friday, police confined Jamaat al-Dawat's leader, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, to his home in Lahore to stop him from addressing supporters in the city of Faisalabad, about 75 miles away, his spokesman Yahya Mujahid said.
Saeed used to lead Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a militant group closely associated with Jamaat al-Dawat and banned by Musharraf four years ago.
A senior police official in Lahore who confirmed Saeed's detention said the government had ordered police to restrict the movement of all religious leaders who might address rallies and to round up religious activists "who could be any threat to law and order."
The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter with media because of its sensitivity.
Police used tear gas and batons in isolated incidents at Friday's protests, but generally they were free of violence. About 7,000 protested in Rawalpindi, 5,000 in the southwestern city of Quetta and 5,000 in Karachi.
LOL! Keep 'em coming!
Former US president Bill Clinton on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammads caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.
Probably got something to do with that cow-sex thing...
Great line!!! ROFLMAO !!!!
We have a winner!
Very funny...but so frighteningly true also.
Please don't give me any ideas sir. Im deployed in Iraq and could have an R/C airplane sent here modify it and to that. Its so very tempting
I know! And when you watch a scary ghost movie you get the habibee geebies.
"....and so, Children of Allah, I hereby declare that I shall offer one million dollars to the man who makes BEETLE BAILEY funny again."
That chain letter with the bogus info has been going aroung for years. The correct flight number was: N334AA. No flights begin with a "Q."
I think $1 Million right in front of the bounties eyes will outweight the mullah offer. Since they never shown the money.
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