Jordan media to react en masse to reprinting of Danish cartoons

Other News Materials 24 February 2008 17:24 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - At least 21 Jordanian daily newspapers, weeklies and other media said Sunday that they had decided to carry a unified text on Wednesday that responds to the recent reprinting of cartoons which they deemed "blasphemous" to the Prophet Mohammed.

"The unified text is designed to carry a media message of a professional and objective nature as part of an expanded media campaign," the papers said in a statement.

"It also has the aim of driving the idea home that the reprinting of the sacrilegious pictures by 17 Danish newspapers at the same time represents a flagrant, systematic and well-studied offence to Islam and the Prophet and has nothing to do with the freedom of expression," they added.

The statement urged all other media and the journalists syndicate to join this campaign to turn Wednesday into an "historic day" in Jordan which it said performed a "pioneering role in defending Islam and the Prophet Mohammed," a reference to King Abdullah II who descends from the Prophet's Hashemite clan.

The statement also appealed to all Arab and Islamic media to follow suit.

The move by the Jordanian press represented an escalation in the reaction to the reprinting of the caricatures 10 days ago by a dozen Danish newspapers which said they wanted to show their firm commitment to freedom of expression following reports of an attempt on the life of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

The pictures, which first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten two years ago, depicted the Prophet of Islam as a terrorist.

Scores of Jordanians belonging to opposition parties and trade unions demonstrated Saturday in protest against the reprinting of the cartoons, and called for the expulsion of the Danish ambassador and the boycott of Danish products.