Cairo, 2 January (AKI) – A recent storm over cartoons published in a leading Danish newspaper which some Muslims saw as blasphemous has prompted a Cairo-based Muslim interfaith organisation to stage a one-day conference in Denmark in March to address “the ignorant and inflammatory portrayal in the media”. The conference also aims to provide the Muslim minority in Denmark with support, Fadel Soliman, head of the conference’s organiser, Bridges Foundation, told the website IslamOnline.net.
The speakers include British journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, who made headlines in September 2001 when she was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan while working for London’s Daily Express, and held hostage for 11 days.
Soliman said that the uproar surrounding the publishing of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in different settings in Denmark ‘s largest circulation daily Jyllands-Posten on September 30, underlines the need for such a conference.
One image purportedly showed Mohammed in a turban shaped like a bomb strapped to his head was particularly offensive, IslamOnline.net (IOL) said.
Soliman added that after the Denmark conference, they will start planning for another conference in Australia which has recently been plagued by race riots involving Islamic immigrants.
Ridley told IOL that the March conference in Denmark, “can be a turning point if it succeeds in getting non-Muslim journalists covering Islam and Muslims objectively. It will be the start of a big thing.”