Danish Ambassador to Forward Newspaper Apology

The Danish Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia was the target of a demonstration today by 200 – 300 people from the Front of the Defenders of Islam (FPI) who were protesting to show their contempt for drawings of the Prophet Muhammad featured last year in a Danish newspaper.
     The protesters smashed lamps with bamboo sticks and threw chairs around, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” meaning “God is Great”. They also threw rotten eggs and tomatoes at the Danish embassy symbol inside the lobby. 
     The embassy is on the 25th floor of the building and protesters were unable to get past security in the lobby, according to Reuters. 
     About 100 Indonesian policemen watched the FPI protesters as they made fiery speeches calling on the government of the world’s most populous Muslim nation to sever diplomatic ties with Denmark and evict its ambassador. The protesters dispersed after an hour. There were no arrests. 
     Outrage has erupted in Muslim World after newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary have reprinted the caricatures this week, saying press freedom was more important than the protests and boycotts they have provoked. 
     It has not yet been possible to reach the ambassador, but an officer at the Danish Foreign Ministry confirmed that some of the demonstrators attempted to get to the 25th floor where the embassy is located. “But they only made it to the ground floor,” the official said. 
     The Danish Foreign Ministry said they will continue to assess the situation as it develops. The demonstration in Jakarta lasted for two hours and ended after the ambassador, Niels Erik Andersen talked to three people claiming to lead the demonstrators. 
     According to Channel NewsAsia Maksuni, the leader of the protesters, said that Ambassador Niels Erik Andersen promised to issue an apology to the media in Indonesia. 
     “The ambassador has agreed to apologise in the local electronic and print media in one or two days, after they have prepared a draft and had it translated it,” he said. 
     “If they don’t apologise as they promised, we will kick them out of the country, and we will ask the government to withdraw its ambassador from Denmark,” he added. The group, which is best known for organising attacks to shut down nightclubs, dispersed peacefully.

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