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Muslims' Fury Rages Unabated Over Cartoons
"I am calling on all religious men not to attack the embassies of the foreigners," Khatami told worshipers in Tehran in comments broadcast live on state radio. "Chanting slogans, staging protests and condemning such measures are holy . . . but I feel that they want their embassies to be set on fire so they can say that they are innocent. Take this excuse away from them."
In Sweden, the government shut down the Web site of a far-right political party's newspaper after it briefly posted a cartoon of Muhammad. It was the first time a Western government has intervened to block a publication in the controversy over the cartoons, the BBC reported.
Richard Jomshof, editor of the newspaper, SD-Kuriren, which is published by the anti-immigration Swedish Democrats, said the action was illegal. Jomshof's paper had posted a cartoon showing Muhammad from the rear, looking into a mirror with his eyes blacked out. He said the cartoon was about self-censorship, but Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds called it "a provocation" by "a small group of extremists."
In Copenhagen, Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which originally published the cartoons on Sept. 30, was told to take a two-week vacation. "There is no disagreement whatsoever between me and the company," Rose said in an interview. "I'm tired, I have been under huge pressure, and I am grateful to the paper for this time off."
Rose said this week that he intended to print cartoons of Jesus Christ and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He said the idea was to show that his newspaper would direct satire against all religions. Rose also said he was considering printing cartoons about the Holocaust that an Iranian newspaper intended to publish.
The newspaper's editor in chief, Carsten Juste, later publicly contradicted those statements, and Rose agreed that they represented "an error in judgment."
In Norway on Friday, the editor of Magazinet, a Christian newspaper, apologized to Muslims for reprinting the cartoons, which had made Norway a target of Muslim attacks, including the burning of its embassy in Damascus, Syria. Vebjoern Selbekk, who had initially defended the Jan. 10 publication as an expression of press freedom, said at a news conference: "I address myself personally to the Muslim community to say that I am sorry that your religious feelings have been hurt. It was never our intent to hurt anyone." Selbekk, who said he had received more than 20 e-mailed death threats, then shook hands with Mohammed Hamdan, leader of the Islamic Council in Norway, who urged forgiveness and Selbekk's safety.
"Anyone who touches him touches us," Hamdan said. "Our prophet, Muhammad, has said that everyone can make mistakes, but the best is the one who expresses regret and asks for forgiveness."