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Photo: Reuters
Muslim anti-cartoon protest
Photo: Reuters
Sweden: Muhammad cartoon contest initiated
Playing with fire? Online paper representing radical rightist party invites readers to participate in competition, expresses support for Danish newspaper that touched off controversy
Playing with fire in Sweden? A radical rightist online newspaper in Sweden has joined the cartoon fray Tuesday after initiating a prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.

 

The paper, Sd-Kuriren, justified its decision by saying it supports freedom of expression and backs the Danish newspaper that touched off the controversy by publishing Muhammad cartoons.

 

"Freedom of expression in Sweden outweighs the Islamic ban regarding prophet Muhammad," the paper's editor wrote.

 

The online publication operates in southern Sweden and represents a far right party characterized by xenophobia.

 

In his remarks, the editor addressed Muslim protests across the world and the anti-Denmark boycott announced by several Muslim countries, while noting the paper will continue to respect freedom of speech and calling on all those who find the issue important to take part in the cartoon contest.

 

Although the website in question is a marginal one, research institute "Global Justice Group" already identified radical Islamic online forums calling for the Swedish site to be destroyed.

 

The latest cartoon contest may push Sweden, which so far adopted a cautious line over the cartoon affair, into the eye of the storm as well. Currently, there are about 350,000 Muslims living in Sweden, with Stockholm being home to Scandinavia's largest mosque.

 

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