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Al-Qaradawi calls for boycott of Danish products, Egypt concerned over up-coming Dutch film
Published in Daily News Egypt on 24 - 02 - 2008

CAIRO: One of the world s most prominent Sunni religious scholars called on Muslims on Friday to boycott Danish products in response to the decision by several newspapers in Denmark to reprint a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed.
More than a dozen Danish newspapers reproduced the drawing on Feb. 13 to show their commitment to free speech after police foiled an alleged plot to kill the cartoonist who created it.
The cartoon, showing the Prophet Mohamed wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, was one of 12 caricatures that sparked protests across the Islamic world when they were first published in 2006 and led many Muslims to avoid Danish goods.
Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian religious scholar based in Qatar, urged Muslims on Friday to repeat their boycott, warning them that the world would view them as weak if they didn t react strongly.
"Regrettably, Muslims start potently with these issues, then they relax gradually as the strong [supporters] get weaker and the enthusiastic [supporters] get lazy, said Al-Qaradawi during a press conference aired by Al-Jazeera television.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable ones, for fear it could lead to idolatry."Our duty is to go on [with the boycott], said Al-Qaradawi.
Danish exports to Muslim countries fell by more than 11 percent in 2006 during the boycott, according to Denmark s national statistics agency. The boycott was accompanied by angry protests, with mobs burning the Danish flag and attacking the country s diplomatic missions in Syria, Iran and Lebanon.
In a related issue Egypt on Friday deplored what it called gratuitous attacks on Islam and said it was closely monitoring plans by a Dutch filmmaker to release an anti-Quran film.
It is regrettable that European lawmakers and politicians use gratuitous methods to gain electoral votes by attacking the sacred values and religions of others, foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in a statement.
Dutch far-right deputy Geert Wilders has said he will be airing on television in the Netherlands in March a controversial anti-Islam film called Fitna (Ordeal), which accuses the Quran of inciting people to murder.
Such politicians, Zaki said in reference to Wilders, focus their hatred on Islam and plan to broadcast a film undermining Islamic symbols.
These acts feed hatred against Muslims and encourage extremism and confrontation instead of opting for dialogue based on mutual respect, Zaki said.
Egypt is monitoring the situation very closely, he added, but also noted the comprehension of the Dutch authorities over Cairo s concerns.
Wilders said in November that the film will show his view that the Quran is a horrible and fascist book that inspires people to commit awful acts. -Agencies

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