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2/06/2006 World News: Muslim, Arab Leaders Urge Calm in Cartoon Controversy


Muslim and Arab leaders are calling for calm following violent outbursts of Muslim anger in several countries over the publication in Europe of political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. The leaders say they condemn the caricatures, but Muslims must show restraint because the violence is as harmful as the cartoons to Islam. Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet Mohammed blasphemous. The cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, and then reprinted in a number of European cities.

Hundreds of angry Egyptians awaiting news of relatives on a ferry that sank in the Red Sea last week have set fire to the office of the company that owned the ship. Police used tear gas today (Monday) to disperse the crowd that attacked the office of the As Salam maritime company outside the Egyptian port of Safaga. Hundreds of relatives have been at the port entrance since the ferry with more than 14 hundred people on board sank early Friday.

Egyptian rescue teams are searching for 800 people still missing. Searchers have rescued 400 people and recovered almost 200 bodies.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says nothing can halt Tehran's pursuit of nuclear research. Speaking at a gathering in Tehran Sunday, Mr. Ahmadinejad said a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency cannot prevent Iran's progress. The U.N. agency has voted to report the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council. After the vote, the Iranian government said it was ending surprise U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities, and was proceeding with plans to enrich uranium.

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