COPENHAGEN: A visiting Egyptian imam was among the muslim clerics in Denmark praising the Danish government s condemnation of the latest group of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad and at Friday prayers urged increased respect for religion. In a Copenhagen mosque, Ahmed Turki, a guest imam from Egypt visiting during Ramadan, addressed several hundred Muslim men and called for Danes and Muslims to build bridges. Freedom of speech should not mean a religion could be insulted, he added. Our duty is to have a dialogue about definitions and to find common ground. In the end, the Danish people are the ones who have to bear the consequences, he said. Danish television stations last week aired video footage showing members of the anti-immigrant Danish People s Party (DPP) competing to draw images mocking the Prophet at a summer camp in August, sparking anger in the Muslim world. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday denounced an attack on the Danish embassy in Tehran by protesters and repeated condemnation of the latest batch of cartoons mocking the Prophet, calling the behavior of the DPP members tasteless. A year ago, a Danish daily published cartoons of the Prophet, sparking protests in which more than 50 people died in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Rasmussen has fought to avoid a new cartoon crisis with the Muslim world after the new drawings. He was criticized earlier this year for failing to apologies for the cartoons published by daily Jyllands-Posten.
The Danish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it would no longer comment on what it called a multitude of videos, blogs, chat rooms and drawings of the Prophet on the Internet. It is quite simply impossible to relate to this development in terms of having to comment on every single new contribution. The Government cannot do that. The Government will not do that, it said in a statement. This was an apparent response to media reports in Denmark that the DPP had published another image of the Prophet on its Web site and that members of one other political party had also drawn images of the Prophet at a party gathering. Denmark has about 200,000 Muslims, or about 4 percent of population.