KUWAIT CITY (AFP) — Denmark stirred anger in the Middle East on Thursday over the reprinting of a cartoon deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammed, as Kuwaiti Islamist MPs called for a total boycott of the country.
"We must impose a total political and economic boycott of Denmark," said MP Waleed al-Tabtabai, who branded members of the Danish government "sons of a dog" during a parliamentary session.
Kuwait's government protested and demanded that the "improper phrase" be deleted from the parliamentary minutes.
Several Danish newspapers on Wednesday reprinted the cartoon that caused bloody riots in the Islamic world two years ago.
Three of Denmark's biggest dailies were among 17 papers which published the cartoon, vowing to defend freedom of expression a day after police foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist.
The caricature, which featured the prophet's head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse, was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by the Jyllands-Posten daily.
"This is a provocative and insulting act and we must take a strong reaction," Tabtabai said.
In the Gaza Strip Hamas joined in the condemnation, calling for those responsible to be put on trial.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which seized control of the Palestinian territory in June, said republishing the cartoon was an "offence to the feelings of tens of millions of Muslims.
"We call for the trial of those responsible for publishing these drawings in the Danish newspapers," it said in a statement, demanding that "official apologies be made" to Muslims.
It also called on Arab and Muslim governments to "use those means of pressure available to them to put an end to the organised campaigns aimed at spreading hatred against Islam in the name of free expression."
On Tuesday Danish police arrested a Dane of Moroccan origin and two Tunisians suspected of plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, the creator of the turban cartoon.
In Copenhagen 17 youths were arrested following a fourth night of riots in a predominantly immigrant area of the capital where dozens of cars were set ablaze, police said on Thursday.
A police spokesman said the riots could be linked to the cartoon or to the planned expulsion of the two Tunisian suspects.
Iran had summoned Denmark's ambassador on Wednesday to protest against the reprinting of the cartoon.
"The foreign ministry summoned the Danish ambassador following the repetition of the insults to the Prophet and in order to voice an official protest," said the state news agency IRNA, quoting the foreign ministry.
"The foreign ministry... strongly condemned this and urged a serious confrontation against such insults and a prevention of any repetition," the agency added.
Hundreds of Iranian demonstrators attacked the Danish embassy twice in February 2006, causing serious damage by throwing Molotov cocktails. They also briefly stormed the building in protest at the cartoons being published.
In October the same year, demonstrators angered over a satirical video of the Prophet Mohammed aired on Danish television also hurled firebombs and rocks at Denmark's embassy in Tehran.
In Karachi on Thursday, protesters burned a Danish flag, witnesses said.
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