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Muslim scholar slams mission attacks

Qaradawi condemned Danish and Norwegian embassies' torching over Prophet's cartoons, and urged boycott.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 10:38 IST

Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi condemned the torching of Danish and Norwegian embassies in Arab capitals by Muslims angry over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, told Arabic television Al Jazeera on Sunday that Muslims should instead channel their fury by boycotting goods of countries who published the drawings in their newspapers.

"We call on Muslims to show their fury in a logical an controlled manner," Qaradawi said.

"We didn't ask people to burn embassies as some have done in Damascus and Beirut. We asked people to boycott products ... We don't sanction destruction and torching because this is not in line with morality or Muslim behaviour," he said, referring to calls to boycott he made during Friday's sermon in Qatar.

Thousands of angry Muslim protesters torched the Danish consulate in Beirut on Sunday, a day after Syrians set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus, damaged the Swedish embassy and tried to storm the French mission.

Qaradawi also called for international action over the cartoons -- one which depicted Prophet Mohammad with a turban shaped like a bomb -- which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September and were reprinted in other European countries.

"I call on Arab and Islamic governments to ask the United Nations to issue a law forbidding insults to all religions."

Newspapers have insisted on their right to print the cartoons on the grounds of freedom of speech. Muslims believe depictions of the Prophet Mohammad are blasphemous.

"Freedom comes with responsibilities. Only God has absolute freedom," Qaradawi he said.

He is an outspoken Egyptian Sunni Muslim cleric who frequently appears on a weekly religious programme on Al Jazeera television which has a wide viewership in the Arab world.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 10:03 IST