Oslo: Taxi drivers continue Muhammed-cartoon protest

Oslo: Taxi drivers continue Muhammed-cartoon protest

Follow up to: Oslo: 1000 taxi drivers protest Muhammed cartoon. The protests are in response to this Dagbladet report.


Muslim taxi drivers in Oslo parked their cars Monday morning in protest against the publication of a Muhammed cartoon by Norwegian media.

A long line stretched out outside the Oslo Central Station, a stone's throw from Dagbladet's offices, when Muslim taxi drivers parked their cars in protest against the newspaper, which printed a Muhammad cartoon as illustration to an article.

"We are law-abiding citizens who respect Norway's law, and we demand respect back. Why to provoke so unnecessarily in this way? What is the real purpose," taxi driver Butt told VG Nett outside the airport terminal at Oslo Station.

Many of the taxi drivers were very upset about the printing, but few wanted to speak under their own names. Common to all is that they feel insulted by the printing of the current cartoon, which depicts the prophet Muhammed as a pig, in addition to the printing of other Muhammed cartoons in the Norwegian media.

"The passengers show us more respect than the media in Norway," claims another taxi driver who calls himself Siver.

"We live in 2010 and we ought to expect that people had learned to show more respect. why provoke such reactions when you know what happened after the caricatures in Denmark," continues another very upset driver.

The protest Monday morning is another in a series after the printing of the caricature Wednesday. Friday night close to 1,000 Muslim taxi drivers parked their cars.

"We will show that wihout us Norway stops," Rashad Munir told VG Nett.

He hopes that more politicians will come out and give their point of view on the printing, which he claims is an abuse of freedom of speech.

"People should understand that the prophet means a lot for Muslims, and that printing such pictures is very insulting. People should respect all religions. It's OK to criticize, but not to insult," taxi-driver Younis Shehzad told VG Nett.

Many passengers felt the protest personally. Brit Elin Fauske stood 30 minutes in the biting cold before he got a taxi. She had little understanding for the protest.

"I think it's becoming too stupid. I take a taxi once a year, and now I won't get to the course I need to," Fauske told VG Nett.

Mark Freeman from Canada was among the many taxi passengers who had to wait extra long to get a taxi this morning. He supports the driver's protest.

"If they protest against the portrayal of the prophet Muhammed, it doesn't hurt me to stand here and freeze a little," Mark Freeman told VG Nett.

In today's editorial, Dagbladet wrote that publishing the cartoon wasn't an expression of disrespect for Muslims or Islam, and not a demonstration or attempt at provocation.

"The drawing was used in a news report to illustrate that the Facebook profile of the PST (Police Security Service) contains links to Mohamed cartoons. Therefore it's meaningless to claim - as the protesters do - that this is a provocation against Muslims in Norway and all over the world," says the Dagbladet editorial.

Source: VG (Norwegian)

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