Thailand joins cartoons protests

About 400 Muslims stamped on Denmark’s flag outside Thailand’s embassy in Bangkok today.

Protesters – some carrying signs reading “Freedom of Speech Is Not Freedom To Lie” and “Saying Sorry Is Not Enough” – called on the Danish government to forcefully come out against the cartoons.

Some speakers hinted at violence – one saying “we could burn this embassy down if we wanted” – while others called for a boycott of Danish goods.

Protesters marched from a nearby park to the embassy in central Bangkok, then sat on a road outside the building and listened to speakers. A barricade was set up at the gate of the embassy and about a dozen police officers guarded the entrance.

As a result of the protest, the embassy was closed to visitors until further notice, said Ambassador Ulrik Helweg Larsen. He said he offered to meet with protesters but they refused.

One of the demonstration’s leaders, Suwit Sasanapichit, said protesters opposed the Danish prime minister’s stance.

“Freedom of expression shouldn’t include insulting Muhammad. The freedom has to have its limits,” said Suwit, a 45-year-old member of a non-governmental group, Muslims For Peace. He said his group opposed violent reactions to the cartoons.

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