Denmark’s foreign minister today blamed extremists for violent protests in Muslim countries against the Prophet Mohammed cartoons and warned that al-Qaida would exploit the situation.
Per Stig Moeller noted that protests had been tapering off in many Arab countries, while escalating in Pakistan and Turkey.
“It’s the extremist forces that wish to keep it going,” he told reporters in Copenhagen.
“There is no doubt that all extremists will exploit the situation. Al-Qaida, too, will use it and fan the fire.”
Moeller condemned a Pakistani cleric’s offer of a $1m (€830,000) reward for killing one of the cartoonists behind the drawings as “insane” and tantamount to terrorism.
“When money is put on the cartoonists’ heads, then terror is also being used,” he said.
“It’s incitement to murder. Murder is also is banned by the Koran,” Moeller said after a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.
He said Denmark retained diplomatic contacts with governments in countries where it had closed embassies due to anti-Danish protests.
Denmark has recalled its ambassadors from Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan, citing security risks.