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Some Islamic Fundamentalist Parties Continue the “Cartoon Controversy” Despite Apology from the Editor


Bangladesh, over the last couple of days, have broiled over a so-called cartoon crisis. Islamists and a group of fundamentalists have been arguing that a cartoon published in a magazine of the Daily newspaper Prothom Alo titled Names has been an insult to the Prophet of Islam.

The Editor of the Prothom Alo apologized to all concerned who think their religious sentiments has been hurt and they have felt offended. However some of the Islamic parties and their branches, including Hijbut Tahrir staged demonstration following the Friday prayer. In Dhaka police and the protestors clashed while in other cities the demonstrations were peacefully held.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders says the cartoon is a harmless play on words that is not meant to insult the Prophet Mohammed.

It says the cartoon makes fun of a custom in Muslim countries of putting the name Mohammed in front of one's given name.

Reporters Without Borders says the cartoonist should be freed. It is urging Bangladesh's government to resist Muslim extremists who try to politicize the case.

Bangladeshi authorities confiscated copies of the newspaper's satirical supplement (Alpin) in which the cartoon appeared, after religious leaders described the drawing as a "conspiracy to destabilize Bangladesh."

The government today also confiscated a special issue of another Bengali language publication, citing contents that might hurt Muslim religious sentiment.

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