Danes won't set foot in Sudan again, says president

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Wednesday that Danes will not be allowed to set foot in his country after Danish newspapers reprinted a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Protests and rioting erupted in 2006 in Muslim countries around the world when the cartoons, one showing the Prophet with a turban resembling a bomb, first appeared in a Danish daily. At least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked.

Most Muslims consider depictions of the Prophet Muhammad offensive. Danish newspapers have reprinted one of the drawings in protest against what they said was a plot to murder the cartoonist who drew it.

Sudan has banned Danish imports, mainly dairy produce.

“We are capable of delivering the decisive response ...
boycotting personalities and companies,” Bashir said. “We tell you that no Dane will foul the land of Sudan again,” he told thousands at a rally organised by his ruling party.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadig later said: “We will implement the president’s decision. We will ban all Danes from entering Sudan.”

He would not say if the decision included diplomats. Danish consulate officials in Khartoum were not available for comment.

It was not immediately clear if any Danish citizens live in Sudan or how many Danes visit the country.

Protesters at the rally chanted “down, down Denmark” and attacked the United States and Israel for what they said was conspiring to push Danish newspapers to reprint the cartoon.

A small group carried a banner urging al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to attack Denmark. “Copenhagen, Oh Bin Laden,” the banner read.

Mo’tasim Salaheddin, a 35-year-old civil engineer standing nearby, shouted: “Sudan has 35-million people. They are all Bin Laden. Anyone who insults Islam is an open target”.

People around him chanted “God is the Greatest.”—Reuters

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