A Pakistani police officer arrest a protester who is condeming the publication of cartoons of Islamic Prophet Muhammad, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb 17, 2006. A Pakistani cleric on Friday announced a US$1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad, as thousands joined street rallies across the country and authorities arrested scores of protesters.
Associated Press: Cleric: $1 Million to Kill Cartoonist
A Pakistani cleric announced Friday a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad, as thousands joined street protests and Denmark temporarily closed its embassy and advised its citizens to leave the country.
Police confined the former leader of an Islamic militant group to his home to prevent him from addressing supporters over the cartoons, amid fears he could incite violence, after riots this week killed five people.
Security forces were out in strength, particularly around government offices and Western businesses, as Muslims streamed onto the streets after Friday prayers. More than 200 people were detained, but most gatherings were peaceful.
In neighboring 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.
The stakes rise for the Muhammad Caricatures. What Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week is coming to fruition…… the situation is “spinning out of control”.
In the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, prayer leader Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi announced the 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 $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.
Does this mean $ 12 million total?
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.
“We have decided to do so because of the general security situation in the country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Thuesen said.
Denmark has already temporarily closed its embassies in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Indonesia after anti-Danish protests and threats against staff.
Pakistan, meanwhile, recalled its ambassador to Denmark for “consultations” about the cartoons, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.
And the diplomatic wars are “spinning out of contrtol” as well……
Michelle Malkin has ‘KILL THE CARTOONISTS’
Muhammad Caricature Watch: Condolezza Rice – Muslim Outrage Could â€œSpin Out of Controlâ€
Muhammad Caricature Watch: Denmark Withdraws Diplomats from Iran and Indonesia
Muhammad Caricature Watch: Syrian Protesters Set Danish Embassy Ablaze Over Cartoon