UK cartoon protests 'unacceptable'

Downing Street has condemned the behaviour of some Muslim protestors involved in demonstrations over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during the weekend as "completely unacceptable".

A statement released by Number 10 said: "The police should have our full support in any action they may wish to take."

There have been calls for some of those involved in demonstrations outside the Danish embassy to be arrested. Some protestors carried banners glorifying the terror attacks of September 11 and July 7, while one protestor dressed as a suicide bomber.

Scotland Yard has received more than 100 complaints about the protests.

The cartoons have sparked widespread protests since they were published in a Danish newspaper. Last week, they were republished in a number of newspapers across Europe.

The protests continued across the Middle East over the weekend. Danish embassies in Syria and Lebanon were set on fire, with one protestor reportedly being killed in Lebanon after jumping from the burning building. There have also been reports that five protestors have been killed during demonstrations in Afghanistan, while another protestor is believed to have died in Somalia.

Protests over the publication of the cartoons have been continuing today in Afghanistan, Iran, Gaza and Indonesia.

Denmark has put advisory travel notices in place for 14 countries and ordered all of its citizens in Lebannon and Syria to leave, following the attacks on the embassy. It has been reported that Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Libya have all pulled their diplomatic representatives out of Copenhagen.

On Monday, radical cleric Omar Kari Mohammed, who was banned from returning to the UK last summer, told the BBC that those responsible for the cartoons should be tried and executed.

However, other Muslim organisations, including the Muslim Council of Britain and the more radical Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking to outlaw, have condemned the violent protests.

Hib-ut-Tahrir spokesperson Imran Waheed said: "While strongly condemning the publication of these caricatures, we also unequivocally condemn those who are urging violent protests or inciting hatred against others."


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