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(photo credit: AP [file])
The youth branch of Denmark's third biggest political party - known for its populist anti-immigration stance - regrets that some of its members mocked the Prophet Muhammad during a summer camp earlier this year, it said Friday.
Despite the regret, the group said it was "OK to poke fun" at religious and political figures.
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Kenneth Christens, chairman of the Danish People's Party Youth refused to apologize Friday for the actions of its members, but acknowledged they were problematic.
Shortly after word spread about the drawings, Egypt's largest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced what it called "new Danish insults" to Islam and urged the world to boycott countries that allow offenses to all religions.
"Muslims are shocked by this new Danish insult," the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement issued Saturday. It described the drawing as "the ugliest for God's most honorable human being, peace be upon him."
The Brotherhood, which enjoys wide popularity in Egypt and across the Arab World, urged Muslims on Saturday to boycott products from Denmark and any other country that would allow such an "insult."
It also called on Muslims to "express denouncement through peaceful means, by demonstrations and protests."
"The repetition of such actions is evidence of the depth of enmity carried by certain sectors in the West toward Islam and the prophet," the Brotherhood statement said.
Some Islamic leaders called for the cartoonists to be killed. Throughout the crisis, the Danish government resisted calls to apologize for the cartoons and said it could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's independent media.
Video clips showing the young politicians, in their 20s and 30s, presenting one cartoon were posted on some Web sites. In the videos, it seemed that they had been drinking.
"It is bad style because it overshadows our political line," the youth organization's chairman, Kenneth Kristensen, told The Associated Press.
Kristensen added that he believed it "is OK to poke fun at Muhammad, Jesus or (former US President) Bill Clinton. We must not put limits on ourselves."
Nearly all of the approximately 30 people shown in the videos had their faces blurred, but the images they drew were easy to see.
One of them, a woman, is shown presenting a drawing of a camel, adding that it has "the head of Muhammad" and beer bottles as humps. The group laughs as the woman, who was not identified, explained the drawing.
The story, first reported by the daily newspaper Nyhedsavisen on Friday, came in the aftermath of violent protests after 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad were published last year.
The Danish daily Jyllands-Posten printed the drawings in September 2005. Four months later, they were reprinted in a range of Western media, triggering massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia.
Some Islamic leaders called for the cartoonists to be killed as rioters attacked Danish embassies in Muslim countries including Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Indonesia.
Kristensen blamed the group's leadership for organizing the contest and Martin Knudsen, a member of the youth branch who shot the video, for posting the clips.
"It could potentially have big consequences to have them on the Internet," he said.
Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.
The cartoon considered most offensive by many Muslims was a drawing of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.
Zubair Butt Hussain, a spokesman for Danish group called Muslims in Dialogue, said the organization was "disgusted" by DFU's contest, but "not surprised."
"The Danish People's Party has through its history made a virtue to make humiliating and generalized statements about minority groups, especially Muslims," Hussain said.
The moderate Muslim organization "believes that freedom of expression is every citizen's right but under responsibility both legally, ethically and morally," he said.
There was no immediate comment from leaders of the Danish People's Party.
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