TEHRAN, 6 Feb. (IPS) As Iran recalled its ambassador from Copenhagen in protest to the printing of some cartoons considers by Muslims as insulting to their prophet, one of Iran’s most influential journalists accused the Americans to have “organised the plot”.
“The not so strange silence of Al-Qa’eda is the best reason proving that America is behind the cartoons that insulted the holly Messenger of the Almighty”, Mr. Hoseyn Sahri’atmadari wrote on the 4 February 2005 issue of the radical daily “Keyhan”, commenting on the cartoons of Muslim’s prophet Mohammad.
The not so strange silence of Al-Qa’eda is the best reason proving that America is behind the cartoons that insulted the holly Messenger
Appointed by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic as the Managing Editor of the radical daily, Mr. Shari’atmadari is an advisor to the leader and as a high-ranking security officer; he specializes in the interrogation of political and intellectual dissidents.
According to Mr. Shari’atmadari, generally considered as the “brain” of the ruling conservative establishment, “even if Al-Qa’eda would have taken position in the recent controversy (over the publishing of several cartoons of the prophet Mohammad), still no one would have the slightest doubt that the group is made in America and its silence shows clearly that the insult to the Messenger of God in European press has American-Israel roots” (sic), he said.
However, Brother Hoseyn, as he is called by his opponents, did not explain the link between the “silence of the terrorist group led by Ossama Ben Laden (considered as the mastermind behind the destruction of New York’s twin towers of Trade World Center on 11 September 1999) and the incriminated cartoons.
“The Al-Qa’eda is observing a significant silence concerning the insult to the Messenger of God even though the group, when it was ruling over Afghanistan, would consider men with beards less than 7 centimeters long as being in contravention of Islamic laws and the education of girls as a sin”, he pointed out. (sic)
Explaining his “discovery”, Mr. Shari’atmadari said “in 2002, after France opposed the United States’ war on Iraq, a French vessel exploded near the costs of Yemen and immediately Al-Qa’eda claimed responsibility in a videotape sent to (the Qatar-based) Al Jazira Television, accusing France of being the enemy of Islam. The group did the same with Germany, another country that was also against the Iraqi war, menacing it with attacks on public places in Germany”.
“This time, the mission of insulting the Messenger was given to a few European journalists instead of giving it to Al-Qa’eda. If the group would have no American nature, it should have entered the arena much earlier”, (sic) Mr. Shari’atmadari concluded, forgetting that he had been one of the first “big voices” in Iran to criticize the Government of not having “punished” the Danes.
First published in a Danish newspaper four months ago and reprinted a week after by a Norwegian magazine, the cartoons portrays the prophet in various postures, including one wearing a turban in shape of a bomb ready to explode, another one showing him on top of a hill telling visitors that “there are no more virgins in stock” etc..
While it were the Egyptians who first discovered the cartoons and tried to mobilize the Muslims against the newspaper, but the issue exploded into a West versus Arabs and Muslims after Saudi Arabia banned the import of all Danish foods and other products about two weeks ago.
As a result, anti-Danish demonstrations were organized in several Arab and Muslim capitals and cities. In Jakarta, hard line Islamic groups attacked the Danish embassy. In Damascus and a day letter in Beirut, demonstrators set fire to the Danish embassy and attacked Norwegian consulate. In the Gaza strip, protesters attacked the French cultural centre and the office of the European Union. Anti-Western demonstrations, protests and marches were organized in most Arab and Muslim cities, including in Iran.
Surprised and shocked by the violence of the Muslims and the intolerance towards what they consider as freedom of expression, European newspapers started to print the cartoons that Muslims consider as insulting to their prophet.
This time, the mission of insulting the Messenger was given to a few European journalists instead of giving it to Al-Qa’eda
Plantu, one of France’s and also the world’s best known and talented cartoonist drew in the influential daily “Le Monde” a cartoon of Mohammad with the word “Je ne dois pas dessiner Mahomet” (I shouldn't draw Mohammad).
While world leaders would call for calm from both sides, the majority of politicians denounced the intolerance showed by the Muslims. “I rather prefer the excess from a cartoon to the excess of censorship”, said Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister who is also in charge of religious affairs.
But the centrist newspaper “Le Figaro”, in an editorial, criticized the cartoons, saying in the present volatile atmosphere of the world, “printing these tasteless cartoons is more a matter of idiocy than heroism”
“(Albert) Camus (the famous French novelist) said without freedom, press can not but be bad. But one can not make a bad use from the freedom of the press? This is why Le Figaro has decided not to print the cartoons”, the paper said in an editorial. ENDS CARTOONS 6206