…after a Polish newspaper added to the long list of European titles to publish the cartoons that have sparked off violent protest all over the place.
After the up market daily Rzeczpospolita printed the oh-so-unfunny images, Catholic Prime Minister Marcinkiewicz showed solidarity with the religious everywhere. The Syrian Arab News Agency reports:
"It is a duty to apologize to those who felt offended when seeing the cartoons in the paper," the Premier Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said in a statement distributed by the Polish embassy in Damascus today.
Marcinkiewicz underlined that media's role is not to provoke hatred or aggression among people, noting that many Polish social circles and the Catholic-Islamic Council also condemned such behavior.
He underscored that Poland respects all other religions and wish to develop the friendly ties with Arab and Islamic countries.
He also said: “It is my conviction that the bounds of properly conceived freedom of expression have been overstepped.”
Polish editors be warned.
The editor of Rzeczpospolita, Grzegorz Gauden, says that the media cannot be blackmailed by the aggressive and threatening noises coming from the Middle East, Asia and some European cities.
But most of the media are either supporting religious sensibility, or wisely – given the present political climate here, with religious groups in the ascendancy - but a little sheepishly, keeping their heads down.
The Polish Muslim Association , which represents 25,000 Muslims in Poland, is considering taking legal action against the newspaper for inciting religious hatred.
What has outraged Muslims so much is that the cartoons reproduce an image of Mohammed - strictly a no-no with Islam. But EU referendum blog points to a page that shows that there have been many, often beautiful, images of the prophet created over centuries. This is a must see site, with loads of examples, including cartoons in recent periodicals that have not received the same publicity and so have not created so much anger.