CAIRO: Egypt called Monday for urgent dialogue between the West and Muslim countries to avert a clash of civilizations over the world crisis about cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
“We are witnessing the early signs of a campaign and a clash between the West and Islam, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said at the opening of a conference on security in the Middle East co-sponsored with NATO.
“It is therefore important and necessary that whoever believes in dialogue, peace, understanding and peaceful coexistence takes steps to contain the situation.
In September, the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten had published a series of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, something which is banned in some schools of Islam. Some of the caricatures portray him as a terrorist.
The caricatures were reprinted by a Norwegian magazine in January and anger over the cartoons spiraled out of control last week as violent demonstrations swept the Muslim world.
Denmark and Norway have argued the publications were only exercising their right of free expression, and scores of leading European newspapers – including those of France, Germany, Spain and Italy – also carried the cartoons in solidarity.
Danes have accused radical imams of whipping up the controversy by circulating the cartoons in Muslim countries, along with more offensive drawings that never appeared in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper. AFP