Finnish PM Apologises to Muslims

International News (Pakistan), Feb. 15, 2006

HELSINKI: Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Tuesday said he was sorry that Muslim feelings had been hurt by the blasphemous cartoons in his country.

“I apologise on behalf of myself and of the Finnish government that the religious feelings of Muslims have been hurt also in Finland,” Vanhanen told the Finnish FNB news agency in Turin, Italy, where he is following the Olympics.

A tiny extreme-right group in Finland said on Monday it had posted blasphemous cartoons on its website in protest at the closure of a Swedish nationalist party’s homepage for publishing similar drawings.

Vanhanen said police were investigating the incident. Jari Vilen, the chairman of the Finnish parliament’s grand committee, said in a statement on Monday that Suomen Sisu’s publication of the drawings was “irresponsible” and posed a threat to national security.

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