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Outrage at insult to Islam

BAHRAIN'S parliament lashed out in outrage last night over newspaper cartoons insulting Prophet Mohammed and Islam.

They demanded official apologies from Denmark, where the cartoons were first published and Norway, where they were republished by a magazine earlier this month.

MPs also demanded action by Bahrain's government against Denmark and called for mass protests all over the country, after Friday prayers.

They broke off from holiday to meet in an emergency session, during which they also passed a resolution urging Bahrain's business community to boycott all products from Denmark and Norway.

An apology from the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published the 12 cartoons last September, was not enough, said MPs.

They said the apology should come from head of state Queen Margrethe and from the Danish government.

Bahrain should also demand an official apology, instigate an official boycott of goods and take legal action against the publishers in the Danish courts, said the MPs' resolution.

Parliament second vice-chairman Shaikh Adel Al Maawada urged the people to start boycotting Danish and Norwegian products.

"This is the most civilised way to show our wrath towards these nations, who have crossed redlines," he said.

"We have never insulted other religions and will never do so, because Prophet Mohammed and Islam doesn't allow us to do, urging us to live in harmony and peace, taking into consideration that we are all humans, breathing the same air."

"Bahrain has held a number of dialogue conferences between religions to show the world that difference in belief doesn't mean difference in humanity and tolerance."

Al Menbar Islamic Bloc president Dr Salah Abdulrahman said that the Bahrain government, in co-ordination with other governments, should file a lawsuit against the Danish newspaper in the Danish courts.

"People should also join rallies and demonstrations after Friday prayers, demanding an official apology from the Danish government."

"Traders should also stop importing Danish and Norwegian goods, as Al Muntazah Supermarket has already done.

'We should also stop exporting the 159,000 daily oil barrels to Denmark in co-ordination with other GCC countries."

Parliament legislative and legal affairs committee chairman Yousif Zainal told the public not to confuse Bahraini companies with Danish names (such as Bahrain Danish Dairy) with Danish products.

"People should be aware and careful, because this would certainly harm our Bahraini economy, considering that the wrong places are being targeted," he said.

"The Satanic cartoons have brought us together and we hope that we would stick together all the time." MPs, Shi'ites and Sunnis, asked parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani for a break to perform Maghrib (sunset) together, to show the world that Bahrain's Muslims are united against anything that would harm Islam..



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