Friday, September 21, 2007

Magazine banned for 'Mohammad cat' cartoon

BANGLADESH has suspended publication of a magazine after a cartoon it published this week triggered protests by Muslims who said it was offensive to the devout.

The suspension of publication of the Alpin, the weekly satire magazine of leading Bengali daily Prothom Alo, was ordered as some Muslim groups called for a street protest after Friday noon prayers, and a march towards the Prophom Alo office.

The daily has apologised for the cartoon in which a small boy referred to his cat as "Mohammad cat". The protesters said it was a deliberate attempt by the cartoonist to ridicule Islam's Prophet Mohammad....

Police said that to avert any violence over the cartoon they would strictly enforce emergency laws banning protests and rallies.
"We shall impose a tight watch around Dhaka's Baitul Mokarram mosque from where the protesters would likely start their march," said a police officer. Police have also deployed outside the daily's office. Prothom Alo published a third apology today and appealed to all to take the printing of the cartoon as a mistake. On Wednesday police broke up a street march by hundreds of Islamists in Dhaka, demanding "death to the Prothom Alo editor" and "hang the cartoonist".

A government statement on Thursday said: "The magazine in its 431st issue has hurt the sentiment of devoted Muslims" and risked upsetting law and order....

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