CAIRO â€” Prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on Sunday, February 17, for a calm, rational reaction to the reprinting of a Danish cartoon ridiculing Prophet Muhammad (s).
â€œThis is an insult to Muslims and an attempt to provoke them,â€ Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera news channel.
Seventeen Danish newspapers reprinted on Wednesday, February 13, a drawing of a man described as Prophet Muhammad (s) with a ticking bomb in his turban.
The move came following the arrest of two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin for allegedly plotting to kill the cartoonist who drew the caricature.
â€œThose people are provoking us to go in protests everywhere and Muslims have a right to be angry,â€ said Qaradawi.
â€œBut we are appealing for the umma [Muslim nation] for a rational, wise and calm response.â€
When the mass-circulation Jyllands-Posten first published the controversial 12 cartoons Danish Muslim leaders toured the Muslim world to drum up support for their case.
Mass protests, some taking violent turns, were staged across the Muslim world to denounce the drawings, considered blasphemous under Islam.
Egyptâ€™s Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi has taken a similar decision earlier at the request of Danish Muslim leaders.
â€œThey have told me they can handle the issue,â€ he told the World Al-Azhar Alumni Conference in the Malaysian capital on Friday.
Sheikh Qaradawi stressed that Muslims must resort to all peaceful and legal ways to protest insults to their great Prophet (s).
â€œWe should work with others to bring these people to trial and work to issue legislations banning such actions.â€
Following the 2005 cartoon crisis the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Arab League sought a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions against blasphemy.
Muslim, Christian and Jewish clerics pressed in 2006 for United Nations action to ban blasphemy and offenses to religious symbols.
Sheikh Qaradawi, meanwhile, renewed the call to boycott Danish products as a demonstration of anger at the reprinting of the lampooning cartoon.
â€œThe boycott of Danish products should be activated.â€
Muslims worldwide boycotted Danish products during the 2005 crisis, causing Danish companies nearly $1.5 million a day in losses.
Denmarkâ€™s leading dairy company Arla Foods, one of the hardest hit, issued at the time a strong condemnation of the cartoon and appealed to Arabs and Muslims to end their boycott of its products.