February 26, 2006

Hong Kong Muslims protest against Prophet cartoons

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shouting slogans and waving banners,
more than 1,000 Muslims in Hong Kong mounted a protest on
Sunday to denounce cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad.

"Mockery is not humour," "We want peace, don't harass us,"
read some of the banners the Muslims brandished in Chater
Garden, a favorite weekend gathering place for foreign domestic

It was the second peaceful protest in 10 days by Hong
Kong's Muslim community, a usually quiet and almost invisible
group in this southern Chinese city.

Organisers said they were enraged by the cartoons, which
were first published in Denmark in September but which have
since been reprinted in many European newspapers.

"We love our prophets and we also love other religions. But
why should people hate our religion?" said Khan Muhammad Malik,
chairman of the Pakistan Islamic Welfare Union in Hong Kong.

"We want the United Nations to make a law for the world,
stating clearly that no religion must be insulted."

The cartoons have sparked protests worldwide by Muslims who
believe it is blasphemous to depict the Prophet.

Many of the protests have turned violent and at least 50
people have been killed around the world. A Pakistani Muslim
cleric last week offered rewards amounting to more than US$1
million to anyone who killed any of the Danish cartoonists .