Monday, February 20, 2006

Cartoon roundup for Feb 20th

World: At this point bringing you the wacky, unreal, astounding events and fallout from the Mohammed cartoon fiasco. Indian minister offers 11 million dollar reward for cartoonists.

NEW DELHI, 19 February 2006 — A minister in India’s Uttar Pradesh state government has offered a reward of $11.5 million to anyone who would kill any of the cartoonists who drew the images of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Muhammad Yaqoob Qureshi, minister of state for Haj and Minorities Welfare in the Uttar Pradesh government, told a rally in Meerut, 65 km east of New Delhi, after Friday prayers that he would give “the avenger” 510 million rupees ($11.5 million) and his weight in gold. “Drawing a cartoon of the Prophet is blasphemous and Muslims will not tolerate this insult,” he said in a speech that was broadcast by Indian television stations. “The money will be paid by the people of Meerut,” said Yaqoob.
Indian parties say nothing eyeing the Muslim vote.
The Centre has voiced criticism against Uttar Pradesh minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi for offering a reward of Rs 51 crore for killing the Danish cartoonist. The Centre said the Minister for Haj and Minority Affairs had no business asking for the execution of the controversial Danish cartoonist along with a cash reward. "The government has taken the issue seriously. No one holding a constitutional position can make such remarks," said Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister. Muslim votebank But political reactions have been lukewarm and muted, perhaps with an eye on the Muslim votebank. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and other Samajwadi party leaders have been absolutely silent on the outrageous comments made by their minister. The Congress did read out a statement on behalf of party President Sonia Gandhi, but it focussed on the cartoons and not the minister's incitement to violence. "UPA chairperson asked the government to write to the Danish government way back in October last year, expressing the deep sense of anguish, asking for an apology," said Rajiv Shukla, MP, Congress. Caught in the bind Even the Left has not made a categorical criticism. Only the BJP has been unequivocal in its demands. "We criticise all such attempts. But we also condemn the nude painting of Bharat Mata by an Indian artist," said Ravishankar Prasad, MP, BJP. The Centre is caught in a bind and can do little. But the government is trying to show that something is being done.
Clinton and Chirac kissing people's asses left and right.
Anger against cartoons of Prophet Muhammad flared anew in Asia on Friday in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Adding their voice to the crisis, former US President Bill Clinton and French President Jacques Chirac said it was a mistake to publish the cartoons. In Pakistan, police fired tear gas and detained more than 100 protestors on Friday. At least 10 were detained for blocking a highway in Karachi and hurled stones at vehicles. Clinton, on a private visit to Pakistan, said he saw nothing wrong with Muslims demonstrating in a peaceful way, but he feared an opportunity to improve understanding had been squandered. “This is not a time to burn bridges; this is a time to build them. This is an enormous opportunity, because most people are horrified that this occurred." “I am appalled by what happened as a result of these cartoons,” Chirac said. “I am in favour of the freedom of the press as a pillar of democracy. But I am equally for respecting everyone’s sensibilities.”
Al Qaeda will use cartoons to get recruits. The Jesus and Mohammed hugging/kissing cartoon in Toronto is getting interesting as the student paper refuses to back down.

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