Thu, Feb 16, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Philippine Muslims burn Danish flags in noisy rally

AP , MANILA

Hundreds of Muslim protesters ripped apart and burned Danish flags in a noisy rally yesterday at the Danish honorary consulate in Manila's financial district over the controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

The protesters demanded that Denmark apologize over the cartoons that first appeared in a Danish newspaper, which they said portrayed Mohammed in a blasphemous way. They also demanded that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo condemn the caricatures.

"This rally shows the anger of the Muslim world over that insult," said Representative Mujiv Hataman, a minority Muslim member of the House of Representatives who led the protest in the Makati financial district.

At the height of the one-hour rally, protesters on a truck unfurled a Danish flag that a man below set ablaze while others erupted in yells of "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is great."

Another Danish flag was laid on the road and run over by a jeep before being ripped apart and burned. One placard read "Behead those who insult Islam."

Like two previous rallies in recent days in this predominantly Roman Catholic country, the demonstration was noisy but generally peaceful. About a dozen policemen watched from a distance.

Muslims are a minority in the Philippines, but militants have waged a decades-long rebellion for self-rule in the restive south.

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