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Russian media slam cartoons as 'mistake'

Several leading Russian editors judged that publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was a mistake they did not plan to copy.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 09:34 IST

Several leading Russian editors judged that publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which sparked outrage with Muslims worldwide, was a mistake they did not plan to copy, the Interfax news agency reported.

"Mockery or humiliation of religious principles or symbols are simply out of the question," the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily's chief editor Pavel Gusev said late on Wednesday, adding that criticising officials and believers of various religions was a different matter if done respectfully.

The cartoons "would definitely not appear in our newspaper under any circumstances as I have no right to insult anyone in such a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country as Russia," Noviye Izvestia daily's editor Valery Yakov said.

However, chief of Russia's Journalists Union Vsevolod Bogdanov suggested that the furious response was largely orchestrated by those seeking political gain.

"I condemn these spin doctors who are orchestrating these feelings and trying to turn this into crimes," Bogdanov said.

Nevertheless, publishing the cartoons was "a mistake, as this served as a tool for fomenting conflict," he added.

Outraged Muslims have staged protests across the globe against the cartoons, which were first published in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in September, and have since been reprinted in a number of other European papers.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 09:34 IST