Thursday, March 23, 2006

Police to investigate Ahmed Akkari

EU: The Iman who organized the Mohammed cartoon tour to get a reaction is now going to be investigated for saying he wants to bomb an elected official.

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish police will launch an investigation into allegations that an imam at the centre of the Prophet Mohammad cartoon row issued death threats against a moderate Muslim politician, a spokesman said on Thursday. At least 50 people have been killed in protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East after Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons about the Prophet last year. A French TV documentary crew secretly filmed Imam Ahmed Akkari threatening to have Naser Khader -- a founder of Denmark's Democratic Muslims network, which opposes violent protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad -- bombed. "It is truly shocking that an elected Danish politician can be the object of threats in this way," Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters. "I take for granted that the police will investigate what happened and will deal with it." Police spokesman Flemming Steen Munk said the inquiry would begin as soon as Akkari returned from Bahrain, where he was attending a conference that finished on Thursday. If convicted, Akkari would face a maximum of eight years in prison. Akkari, a spokesman for the Islamic Religious Community in Denmark, told Danish National TV he regretted his threat and said he "in no way" wanted to provoke an attack on Khader. "I am deeply sorry about the remark, which was meant as a joke, but was taken seriously," he said in an open letter to Khader, who lives under police protection. Syrian-born Khader, a member of parliament for the opposition Social Liberal Party, told Danish media he did not want to comment on the threat until he had seen the documentary, which was scheduled to be broadcast later in the day.

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