Prophet Cartoon Row in Indonesia

November 19, 2008

Author: Lucy Williamson

Source: BBC News

The Indonesian government says it has called on a blogging website to take down two cartoons which depict Muslim Prophet Muhammad in sexual situations.

The communications minister said the drawings were "very inappropriate", and said if necessary he would ask internet service providers to block the site.

The cartoons, which appeared on the website last month, have provoked fierce debate among viewers.

Many Muslims believe it is forbidden to depict Muhammad in any form.

The two cartoons, which are several pages long, each tell a sexually explicit story involving the Prophet, interspersed with verses apparently lifted from the Koran.

Indonesia's communications minister described the cartoons as "very unethical and very inappropriate".

He said the ministry was asking the website to remove them. And if necessary, he said, it would ask internet service providers to block access to the website itself.