Muslims Call for Danish Boycott
RIYADH, 20 January 2006 — Saudis and non-Saudis in the Kingdom are urging consumers to boycott Danish products in response to cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) printed in September in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.
The appeal was circulated recently in e-mails and mobile messages.
Arab News called the phone number that accompanied the message. A man who did not identify himself answered and explained his organization’s stance.
“The main objective of this message is that we encourage people to boycott goods from Denmark, which is the least thing we can do until Denmark offers an official apology for the drawings that have offended the world’s Muslims,” said the man.
“We urge all Muslim countries to protest officially to the Danish government for what the Danish newspaper has done by publishing the cartoons.”
Jamal Badawi, 29, said he is supporting the boycott. “I would really support such a campaign, because this is the least thing we can do. If they do not respect our religion or our Prophet (pbuh), then we should act in any way to respond to them except violence which will never solve any problem.”
On Sept. 30, 2005 newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s largest, ran an article about freedom of speech centering around the issue that artists were unwilling to illustrate the Prophet without remaining anonymous for fear of being attacked by extremists. Depictions of the Prophet of Islam are religiously prohibited.
The paper accompanied the article with 12 depictions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by various Danish illustrators.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference and the EU Commission have condemned the printing of the cartoons.
“We are deeply alarmed that a Danish newspaper has found it appropriate to publish caricatures of Islam’s most prominent figure,” said a statement by the EU Commission, posted on the OIC website. “A picture of Muhammad (pbuh) is by itself a breach of Muslim tradition.”
The statement then went on to condemn the threats of violence that have been sent to the newspaper.
“We therefore sympathize that many Muslims feel hurt, but naturally unsympathetically oppose that some Muslims, mainly living abroad, have deemed it appropriate to threaten the newspaper in question and the caricaturists.”
Some Saudis have decided to take a more peaceful route by calling for a boycott of Danish products.
The Muslim World League recently expressed its resentment over the cartoons published by a Norwegian magazine offensive to the Prophet.