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Jordanian paper runs Prophet's cartoons

The chief editor of the Arabic Shihan was sacked after he published the Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammad.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 11:03 IST

A Jordanian newspaper took the bold step of publishing the Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammad that have outraged Muslims, resulting in the dismissal of the weekly's chief editor and a government threat of legal action.

Jihad al-Momani, chief editor of the Arabic Shihan, said that he reprinted the cartoons on Thursday to show readers "the extent of the Danish offence."

But a Shihan editorial -- signed by al-Momani and entitled "Muslims of the world, be reasonable" -- also questioned what sparked the Muslim uproar now, months after the cartoons were first published in September.

Hours later, Shihan's owner -- the Arab Publishers Company -- fired al-Momani for the reprints, saying the editor caused a "shock to the firm and those responsible for it," the official Petra news agency reported.

It said the firm withdrew the weekly's edition from the market and opened an investigation to determine if other staff members were involved.

A spokesman for the Arab Publishers Company confirmed the report, saying al-Momani's "termination is conclusive."

He refused to provide other details and spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Al-Momani declined comment, but said he may issue a written statement later.

His editorial pointed out that the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, had apologised, "but for some reason, nobody in the Muslim world wants to hear the apology."

"Who offends Islam more? A foreigner who endeavours to draw the Prophet as described by his followers in the world, or a Muslim armed with an explosive belt who commits suicide in a wedding party in Amman or anywhere else," the editorial said.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 11:03 IST