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Afghanistan lawmakers rally against reprinting of Muhammad cartoons

[JURIST] Some 200 Afghan parliamentarians demonstrated Tuesday at the parliament building in Kabul against last month's reprinting of a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad [JURIST report] by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste [media website]. The protesters urged the government to call on Danish envoys to discuss what they saw as a challenge to Muslim communities across the world. They also condemned an upcoming film by right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders [personal website] which depicts Islam in a highly negative light. The demonstrations in Kabul follow similar protests last month by Muslims in the Gaza Strip, Pakistan, Denmark, Indonesia and Sudan [JURIST reports].

Jyllands-Poste and 16 other Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoon [Le Monde slideshow] earlier this month one day after Danish police arrested three people [JURIST reports] suspected in a plot to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his characterization of Muhammad. Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who created the Muhammad cartoons [JURIST news archive] first published in 2005, which sparked widespread protests across the Islamic world. The Danish newspapers accompanied the reprinted cartoons with statements defending freedom of speech and the public's right to see the cause of the backlash. AP has more.

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