Indian minister said offering $10m for beheading cartoonist

An Indian state minister has offered a reward of more than $10 million and a prospective killer's weight in gold to anyone who beheads one of the cartoonists who angered Muslims by depcting the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, the London Sunday Tim

Indian minister said offering $10m for beheading cartoonist

The offer follows a Pakistani cleric's reward of $1 million and a car for the killing of one of the cartoonists.

The new, larger reward was announced by Yaqoob Qureshi, minister of minority welfare in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in a speech to constituents in Meerit, northeast of Delhi.
 
Protesters then burned an effigy of a cartoonist and Danish flags, the Times reported.

Death toll in clashes rises to 43
Over the weekend, violent protests against the cartoons erupted in Nigeria, where demonstrators in two northern states torched 11 churches.

The death toll in clashes tied to protests over the cartoons has risen to 43.

In India, police used batons and tear gas to disperse thousands of angry worshippers who rioted in the southern city of Hyderabad. They burned Danish flags, pelted police with stones, and looted shops. Hundreds more protested in Bangladesh.

In the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, prayer leader Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi Friday announced the $1 nillion bounty for killing a cartoonist to about 1,000 people outside the Mohabat Khan mosque.

Qureshi said the mosque and his religious school would give 1.5 million rupees ($25,000) and a car, while a local jewelers' association would give another $1 million. No representative of the association was available to confirm it had made the offer.

"This is a unanimous decision by all imams (prayer leaders) of Islam that whoever insults the prophet deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize," Qureshi said.

Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement. He did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures.

A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, first printed the prophet pictures in September. The newspaper has since apologized to Muslims for the cartoons, one of them showing Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Other Western newspapers, mostly in Europe, have reprinted the pictures, asserting their news value and the right to freedom of expression.

In Denmark, a spokesman for the Jyllands-Posten said the newspaper did not want to comment on the issue, but Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, president of the Danish Journalist Union and spokesman for the cartoonists, condemned the bounty.

"It is totally absurd what is happening. The cartoonists just did their job and they did nothing illegal," he said.

He said the cartoonists - who have been living under police protection since last year - are aware of the reward and are "feeling bad about the whole situation." He didn't say whether their security had been stepped up in light of the reward offer.

In Islamabad, former U.S. President Bill Clinton criticized the cartoons but said Muslims wasted an opportunity to build better ties with the West by holding violent protests.

"I can tell you, most people in the United States deeply respect Islam ... and most people in Europe do," he said on a visit to sign an HIV-AIDS project by his foundation.

Denmark announced it had temporarily closed its embassy in Pakistan. It also advised against all travel to Pakistan and urged Danes still in the country to leave.

Pakistan, meanwhile, recalled its ambassador to Denmark for "consultations" about the cartoons, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

Haaretz

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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