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Hong Kong Muslims to Protest Cartoons
Group obtains approval for peaceful protest
David Kootnikoff (kaspian)     Print Article 
Published 2006-02-09 12:51 (KST)   
In a rare show of public protest, Hong Kong's Muslim community is planning to hold a demonstration next Friday, Feb. 17 to condemn cartoon portrayals of the Prophet Mohammed. The protest is set to take place at Kowloon Mosque in the heart of the city.

Kowloon Mosque
©2006 IslamFedHK
"We do not want to show our anger in a violent way because we are a peaceful people in Hong Kong, said the Mosque's Chief Imam Mohammad Arshad in today's South China Morning Post.

The group has spent this past week meeting and consulting with community leaders. They made the announcement after receiving approval from security officials to hold the protest. Hong Kong law requires any public gathering to obtain consent from authorities before proceeding.

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the Friday lunch demonstration to join their voices in protest against the cartoons. They were republished again yesterday in the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo," which devoted its weekly edition to the cartoons after winning a court ruling filed against it by a Muslim group opposed to their republication. This prompted President Jacques Chirac to warn the media from causing any "overt provocation."

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accused Iran and Syria of inciting Muslim anger and violence.

However, Middle East affairs expert Robert Fisk points out that U.S. foreign policy has added to the violence and contributed to the creation of a clerical administration in Iraq and the election of Hamas in "Palestine."

Kham Mohammed Malik, vice-chairman of the Islamic Federation of Hong Kong said, "All we want is for our religion to be treated with the same respect as others."

Hong Kong Muslims make up approximately 1 percent of the territory's population. They usually keep a very low profile, although one of the most prominent sites that greets visitors to the city is the enormous white dome of the Kowloon Mosque in the center of Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the city's busiest shopping districts.

There are five mosques or masjids in Hong Kong. The Kowloon location has been home to a mosque since 1896.

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The row over newspaper cartoons has intensified as European journalists refuse to give in to the wrath of Arab world. What is your take on this?  (2006-02-06 ~ 2006-02-20)
Freedom of the press should never be compromised
Religious sensitivities should be duly respected
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter David Kootnikoff

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