Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Danish PM: Protests unfairly portray country

February 14, 2006


— Denmark's prime minister complained Monday that his nation had been unfairly portrayed as intolerant in the international furor over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, and his foreign minister said a government apology would be pointless.

After meeting with a newly formed network of moderate Muslims, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for peaceful dialogue to defuse Denmark's biggest international crisis since World War II.

However, critics said the network did not represent Denmark's estimated 200,000 Muslims and warned the prime minister could be heightening tensions by not reaching out to radical groups.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told The Associated Press the government had no reason to apologize for the drawings first published in one of Denmark's largest newspapers.


Lawmakers react angrily to abortion remarks

A lawmaker who said Australians were aborting themselves "out of existence," and that the country was at risk of becoming a Muslim state angered colleagues on both sides of the political spectrum today.

Danna Vale, a lawmaker from the ruling center-right Liberal Party, told reporters Monday she worried that immigrants from Muslim countries could eventually outnumber native-born Australians if the current rate of abortions continued.

Her comments came as members of the House of Representatives prepared to debate whether to strip regulatory control of an abortion pill, mifepristone - also known as RU-486 - away from Health Minister Tony Abbott and hand it to the country's main drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, a move expected to pave the way for the drug to be cleared for use in Australia.

Members of the opposition Labor Party have called on Vale to retract her comments, labeling them as bizarre.


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