Danish paper apologises to Muslims in cartoon row

COPENHAGEN: Danish daily Politiken today apologised to Muslims for possibly offending them by reproducing cartoons of the prophet

Mohammed in 2008, but said it did not regret publishing the drawings.

Politiken is the first

Danish newspaper to

formally apologise to those who may have felt offended by the publication of the cartoons.

It published an agreement reached with eight organisations from as many countries representing 94,923 descendants of the Muslim prophet.

In the agreement Politiken said it regretted

if it had insulted Muslims’ faith, but that it did not regret publishing the drawings and that it did not renounce the right to publish the controversial drawings again.

Politiken’s apologies

were condemned by

the Danish political class, who said the paper was caving in to pressure and had sacrificed freedom of expression, which is considered a cornerstone of Danish democracy.

Danish daily Jyllands-Posten first published 12 caricatures of Mohammed in September 2005.

The cartoons, including one featuring the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse, angered many Muslims worldwide and sparked angry and in some cases deadly protests in January and February 2006.

In 2008, around 20 Danish newspapers, including Politiken, reproduced

the drawings following a failed attack against one of the cartoonists.