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Publishing cartoons was wrong: Singapore PM

At the same time, he has also opposed the riotous response that the cartoon publication led to.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 09:16 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said thatEuropean newspapers should not have published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

At the same time, he has also opposed the riotous response that the cartoonpublication led to.

"It was provocative and wrong" for the cartoons to be published in Denmark and in some other European newspapers, Lee said during an address to 1,700 community leaders late Thursday evening.

The cartoons, which sparked an international furore, included one showing the Prophet with a bomb in his turban and were first published in a Danish daily in September, but have since been widely reprinted.

"The Malaysian government on Thursday shut down a local newspaper after it reproduced the cartoons. We would not have allowed it in Singapore," Lee said.

"We are a multiracial society, we must respect one another's religions, we must not deliberately insult or desecrate what others hold sacred because if we want to live peacefully together, then we must live and let live.

"There must be tolerance, there must be mutual respect," Lee added.

Nearly 14 per cent of Singapore's 3.5 million citizens and permanent residents are followers of Islam, with 8.4 per cent Indian and a majority 76 per cent ethnic Chinese.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 09:16 IST