Danish Churches in Cartoon Resolution Deadlock with Top Muslim Cleric

As Nigerian Muslims angry over the caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches during a violent protest on Saturday, Danish church officials met with Egypt's top Muslim cleric in an effort to resolve the conflict caused by the Muhammad cartoons.

|PIC1|According to the Associated Press, however, no significant advancements were made during the meeting.

During the meeting, Grand Imam Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi of al-Azhar University, the world’s highest Sunni Muslim seat of learning, said the Danish prime minister must apologise for the drawings and further demanded that the world’s religious leaders, including him and Pope Benedict XVI, meet to write a law that “condemns insulting any religion, including the Holy Scriptures and the prophets.”

He said the United Nation should impose the law on all countries.

In response, Bishop Karsten Nissen of Denmark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, did not address the issue of a global law but said that it was impossible for Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmusen to apologise for what a newspaper had published.

"I have brought to his excellency (Tantawi) the apology of the newspaper, but our prime minister did not draw these cartoons. Our prime minister is not the editor of this newspaper. He cannot apologise for something he did not do," Nissen said according to AP.

|TOP|The set of twelve cartoons – one of which depicts the turban of Muhammad shaped like a bomb with the fuse ignited – were first published in September by the daily Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and sparked massive protests worldwide in recent weeks after they were reprinted in European media and elsewhere.

Muslims consider any depiction of Allah and their prophets to be blasphemy.

Saturday's meeting was part of a four-day visit to Egypt by the Danish church delegation to open up a dialogue after the events following the publication of the Muhammad cartoons.

Michelle Vu
Christian Today Correspondent

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