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Danish imams to attend meet on cartoon row

Six Danish imams will travel this week to a two-day conference in Bahrain on the fallout of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons that triggered angry protests from Muslims worldwide.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 19:16 IST

Six Danish imams will travel this week to a two-day conference in Bahrain on the fallout of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons that triggered angry protests from Muslims worldwide.

One of them, Abdul Wahid Pedersen, said Monday he would call for an end to a Muslim boycott of Danish products that is costing Denmark's companies millions daily.

"I will personally speak out against the boycott," he said. "I think the message has been sent and the boycott now just costs innocent people their jobs."

Pedersen added he expected that few participants at the conference starting Wednesday would share his view. Aside from Pedersen, the Danish delegation will include imams who went on a West Asian tour last year seeking support from Muslim countries in the dispute over the cartoons.

The 12 cartoons, first printed in a Danish newspaper, sparked a firestorm of protests, some of them violent, in Muslim countries. One of the leading clerics behind the Bahrain conference is Youssef el-Qaradawi, who lives in neighbouring Qatar, where he chairs the Qatar University Sunni Research Center.

Also Monday, 32 youths from Muslim countries arrived in Denmark for a one-week seminar on dialogue in the aftermath of the cartoon crisis. The seminar includes a meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller and members of the Danish Parliament.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 19:16 IST