UK condemns publishing Prophet cartoons
LONDON  -- British Foreign Secretary Jack Strawon Friday condemned some European newspapers for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, as British Muslims are protesting outside the Danish embassy in London over the caricatures that first appeared in a Danish newspaper.

"I believe that the republication of these cartoons has been insulting, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong," the foreign secretary was quoted by the BBC assaying after talks with the Sudanese foreign minister.

"There are taboos in every religion," Jack Straw said, stressing freedom of speech did not mean an "open season" on religious taboos.

"It is not the case that there is open season in respect of all aspects of Christian rites and rituals in the name of free speech. Nor is it the case that there is open season in respect of rights and rituals of the Jewish religion, the Hindu religion, the Sikh religion," he said.

"It should not be the case in respect of the Islamic religion either. We have to be very careful about showing the proper respect in this situation," he said. He praised the British media for its "considerable responsibility and sensitivity" for not publishing them.

Hundreds of British Muslims marched from the Regent's Park mosque in central London to Denmark's Embassy on Friday afternoon, protesting the Danish newspaper, which published the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first in September.

The Muslim council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain have both met with Danish ambassador in London to voice their concerns about the cartoons, which have flared up protest again from Muslim and Arab world after they were reprinted by more European newspapers recently.

Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet and their publications. Enditem

Published February 3, 2005, Xinhuanet

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