It now appears that Anne Frank is to blame for the cartoons . . .
Last update - 16:27 05/02/2006
Dutch Islamists post cartoons depicting Anne Frank, Hitler in bed
By News Agencies
A Belgian-Dutch Islamic political organization posted anti-Jewish cartoons on its Web site in response to the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that appeared in Danish papers last year and offended many Muslims.
The cartoons were posted on the Arab European League's site on Saturday. It was not working Sunday morning because of exceeded bandwidth.
The cartoons depicting Mohammed wearing a turban-shaped bomb were first published in Denmark, and then in newspapers elsewhere in Europe in a show of solidarity with press freedoms.
The Islamic site carried a disclaimer saying the images were being shown as part of an exercise in free speech rather than to endorse their content - just as European newspapers have reprinted the Danish cartoons.
One of the AEL cartoons displayed an image of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler, and another questioned whether the Holocaust actually occurred.
Dyab Abou Jahjah, the party's founder and best-known figure, defended the
action on the Dutch television program Nova Saturday.
"Europe has its sacred cows, even if they're not religious sacred cows," he told the program.
Denying the Holocaust is illegal under most European hate speech laws, which outlaw intimidating or inciting hatred toward groups on the basis of their ethnic, cultural, religious or sexual identity. Complaints about alleged hate speech are common but prosecutions are rare and convictions very rare.
The AEL espouses nonviolence but has gained a reputation for extremist views, and opposes Muslims integrating with non-Muslims. It promotes the
participation of Muslims in political dialogue in European countries, but is internally divided as to whether or not to participate in elections directly.
Lebanese torch Danish consulate in Beirut
Lebanese demonstrators set the Danish mission in Beirut on fire Sunday to protest against the publication by European newspapers of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, a Reuters witness said.
A cloud of black smoke was billowing from the site. The images of the prophet, forbidden in Islam, first appeared in a Danish newspaper.
Lebanese security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators outside the Danish mission, and witnesses reported several casualties.
Thousands of protesters took part in the protest but only a small group of Islamic extremists tried to break the security barrier, prompting troops to fire tear gas and water cannons from fire engines to try to disperse them, said the official. Troops also fired repeatedly in the air and over the protesters' heads to keep the protesters away.
Witnesses said at least seven wounded protesters were carried away in ambulances.
Also Sunday some 300 Muslim Turks marched to the Danish consulate in Istanbul to protest caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad printed in European newspapers, lobbing eggs at the building.
In a separate incident in Istanbul some 2,000 Shi'ite Muslims gathered at a city square for a separate protest, chanted slogans and burned an effigy of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen before heeding police calls to disperse.
Scandinavian countries protest torching of embassies in Syria
Denmark, Norway and Sweden protested to Syrian authorities on Saturday for failing to protect their diplomats after demonstrators angered by the cartoons set fire to their embassies.
Denmark, where a newspaper initially sparked the furor last September by publishing the cartoons, one of which depicted the prophet wearing a turban resembling a bomb, advised its citizens to leave Syria and said it was pulling out its diplomats.
Norway said it was taking similar steps.
The United States on Saturday sharply condemned the attacks and blamed Syria for their occurences. According to the U.S., Syria should have taken preliminary steps to protect the embassies.
The attacks on the embassies of Denmark, Sweden and Norway were the most violent so far of the protests against the caricatures.
No diplomats were reported injured in the attacks.
Riots in Palestinian territories
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians stormed European institutions and burned German and Danish flags in Gaza City.
About two dozen protesters stormed the German cultural center Saturday morning, smashing windows, breaking doors and burning the German flag. Down the street, about 30 Palestinians threw stones at the European Commission building, and replaced the EU flag with a Palestinian flag, before police brought them under control.
In the West Bank town of Hebron, about 50 Palestinians marched to the headquarters of the international observer mission there, burned a Danish flag, and demanded a boycott of Danish goods.
"We will redeem our prophet, Mohammed, with our blood,' they chanted.
EU calls on PA to halt attacks
In Brussels on Saturday, the European Union called on the Palestinian Authority to protect EU buildings from attack.
"The Commission expects the Palestinian authorities to ensure that European premises are properly protected," the EU said. "The Commission deeply regrets that Europeans who are working to bring a better life to Palestinians should be the subject of such attacks."
The United States condemned the cartoons, siding with Muslims outraged that newspapers put press freedom over respect for religion. "We ... respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable," said State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper.
Major U.S. publications have not republished the cartoons.