In September 2005l Jyllands-Posten, the conservative mass circulation daily, asked 40 illustrators to defy Islam's prohibition against depicting the Prophet. On Sept. 30, it published a dozen of their drawings.
Giving more fuel to the fire, several other European newspapers re-printed these cartoons.
Since then Muslims around the world have launched a protest against these depictions.
Addressing an international conference intended to promote dialogue between Western and Islamic thinkers, Mr. Abdullah Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, said Islam and the West should stop demonizing each other, and try to curb extremism and promote moderation.
Mr. Badawi says a huge chasm has opened between the West and Islam, fuelled by Muslim frustrations over Western foreign policy.
Key figures from the UN, the EU and a prominent pan-Islamic body have jointly called for calm in the wake of outrage over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his counterparts called the drawings offensive, but expressed alarm at the violent worldwide reaction to them.
The prime minister of Denmark, where the cartoons were first published, said they had led to a "global crisis".
Is the gap widening between Islam and the West?
Jrgensen from Denmark says ..
I understand why the Muslim world hates Denmark. When I look in the newspaper, I find that journalists around the world did NOT do a good job investigating reliable sources of information, or explaining the situation properly. It is very complex and at the same time so very simple. Please read this if you want to try to understand what is going on in Denmark. I am terribly sorry about the situation, and I wish we could learn to understand each other better. I do not expect Muslims to understand Danish culture, but I ask you to try. I know it is not easy. More ..
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