FOLLOWING an attempt on the life of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard on January 2, the Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, reprinted six of the 12 Motoons that Jyllands-Posten published in 2005. The JP drawings ignited Muslim fury around the world.
Now the Daily Mail – the Pakistani Daily Mail, that is – has reported that Norway’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Robert Kvile has offered Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi, a grovelling apology for their re-publication, and has promised to look into the possibility of introducing laws to prevent any further insults of Islam in Norway.
Kvile, the paper says:
Strongly regretted the publication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He expressed his great concern over the consequences of such publication, and informed the minister that his country respects the religion of Islam and that the people of Norway would never support the publication of caricatures which damages the feelings of the whole Muslim community.
Kvile indicated that that his government:
Would strive to reform understandings and to devise a strategy to stop such practices in future.
Kazmi told Kvile that the people of Pakistan were very sensitive, and that their angry reactions to the cartoons:
Were genuine and constructive.
He added that Islam teaches tolerance and peace and discourages extremism.
The Minister also demanded that the Norwegian government enact legislation to prevent the publication of such cartoons in the future.
This will convey a good message to the Muslim community and help promote interfaith harmony amongst various communities.
Kvile reportedly agreed with the suggestion of introducing legislation, concurred with the Kazmi that Islam favours peace and tolerance, and quoted the last sermon of the “Holy Prophet” who directed followers to maintain peace .
He promised Kazmi that he would do what he could:
To help stop of the publication of such caricatures in future and assured the minister that he would communicate the feelings of the government and people of Pakistan to his government.
According to this report:
Kvile has studied the Holy Quran in detail and believes that Islam is a religion of peace.