McAleese: Ireland abhors cartoons' publication

Ireland abhors the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that have sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world, the President said on a visit to the Middle East today.

After addressing the seventh Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia, President Mary McAleese said Irish people and the Muslim community in Ireland equally condemned the use of violence in protests against the cartoons.

The caricatures, first published by newspapers in Europe, have sparked protests across the Muslim world.

“We abhor the publication of those provocative cartoons, they were designed to provoke, they were designed to be rude, they were designed to inflame. They did all of those things,” she said.

“But equally I would say our Muslim community share with the Irish community generally, an abhorrence of the use of violence in the expression of anger and hurt.”

Last Friday, hundreds of Muslims marched through Dublin city centre in protest at the printing of caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed in newspapers across Europe.

The peaceful protesters, who turned out for the march in response to calls for an “international day of anger”, condemned the violence over the cartoons.

Many of the demonstrations against the cartoons have been peaceful, but European diplomatic missions were attacked by demonstrators last week in Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Nearly a dozen people were killed in protests in Afghanistan

As part of the week-long visit to the Middle East, the President, who is accompanied by a trade mission of more than 40 companies, was also paying a courtesy call on King Abdullah in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

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