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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 12:46 pm
Protests against the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed have led to two people being killed near Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, taking the death toll from a day of countrywide demonstrations to three.
The two were killed and five wounded in gunfire from among the protesters at the main gates of the US-led coalition’s Bagram Airbase headquarters, 60 kilometres north of the capital Kabul, while another protester died after being shot during a demonstration in eastern Laghman province.
These protesters don’t seem very bright. Great line from Philadelphia Inquirer editor Amanda Bennett:
The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the few U.S. newspapers to publish a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad from a series that sparked a wave of protests by Muslims, defended the action on Sunday by saying it was just doing its job.
“This is the kind of work that newspapers are in business to do,” said Amanda Bennett, the newspaper’s editor.
UPDATE. Kim Beazley bounds into the fray:
Mr Beazley said he believed publishing the caricatures was “extremely unwise”.
“It’s an offensive cartoon and it shouldn’t be printed,” he said.
“You allow freedom of speech, but nevertheless part of that freedom of speech when you see something being done which you think is silly, which is foolish, you speak out and say so.”
What cartoon is Kim talking about? There are twelve of them. Beazley’s anti-publishing stance (Alexander Downer doesn’t seem too happy, either) puts him at odds with Labor foreign affairs spokes elf Kevin Rudd:
Mr Rudd said Australia was a free country and should not be stood over by any group, including militant Islamists.
“These decisions should be made on their journalistic merit by Australia’s news media,” he said.
“We should not be kowtowing to anybody when it comes to freedom in this country.”
Well said. And reader Joe S. emails: “The death toll from the reactions to the cartoons now numbers six. They firebombed then tried breaking into the Danish embassy. What was their intention? Kill Danes in the embassy because completely unrelated Danes drew/published cartoons? That makes sense.”
UPDATE II. An anxious nation holds its breath:
Australia is waiting for Muslim reaction to the decision of a well-known political commentator to publish cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad on his website.
Judging by how long it took Islamic extremists to realise they were offended by Jyllands-Posten’s initial publication of the cartoons, this could take a while.
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