Aug 30, 2007

Pakistan condemns sketch of Prophet in Sweden

Pakistan condemned on Thursday what it described as an offensive and blasphemous sketch of the Prophet Mohammad in a Swedish newspaper.

Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in Danish newspapers sparked widespread anger and deadly protests in several Muslim countries, including Pakistan, in early 2006.

Muslims believe images of the Prophet are forbidden.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the sketch was published in the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. It did not say when.

“Regrettably, the tendency among some Europeans to mix the freedom of expression with an outright and deliberate insult to 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is on the rise,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Such acts deeply undermine the efforts of those who seek to promote respect and understanding among religions and civilisations,” it said.

The Swedish charge d’affaires was summoned to the ministry and a strong protest was lodged with him, the ministry said.

The ministry said the Swedish diplomat said his government shared the views of the Muslim community and the publication of the sketch was unfortunate.

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