More demonstrations have been held in protest at cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper. Gaza has been a focal point of Muslim rage across the Middle East, and the chanting of slogans against Denmark and burnings of its flag continue.
The Danish embassy in Syria evacuated its premises after receiving an anonymous phone call claiming there was a bomb in the building. It was sealed off but a police search came up with nothing. A day before hundreds of Syrians staged a protest in front of the embassy.
Several Danish companies have been hit by an unofficial boycott in Muslim countries. The Scandinavian dairy giant Arla Foods has fared especially badly because of its dominant position in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia was a major market. Managing Director Finn Hansen said:
“Obviously it’s a big blow to our business, which has pretty much diminished to a standstill today, and this has happened over a period of five days due to 12 drawings in a Danish newspaper.”
Invoking freedom of speech, several newspapers around Europe have reproduced the pictures. That, analysts say, will do nothing to soothe anger at images which Muslims deem blasphemous.