Protests Over Muhammad Drawings Intensify
By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer
In Iraq, about 4,500 people protested in the southern city of Basra, burning the Danish flag. Some 600 worshippers stomped on Danish flags before burning them outside Baghdad's Abu Hanifa Mosque, Sunni Islam's holiest shrine in Iraq. Demonstrators also burned Danish journalists in effigy and torched boxes of Danish cheese.
Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, condemned the publications as a "horrific action."
But in remarks posted on his Web site, al-Sistani referred to "misguided and oppressive" segments of the Muslim community whose actions "projected a distorted and dark image of the faith of justice, love and brotherhood."