Muslim clerics gather on prophet cartoons

Some 250 Muslim clerics debated on Wednesday what steps to take next in response to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the wake of protests and boycotts across the Islamic world sparked by the drawings. There were no calls for new protests - which have largely waned since February - but several clerics on the first day of the two-day conference called for a worldwide campaign to promoting the image of Muhammad and Islam. Sheik Youssef el-Qaradawi, a leading hard-line Egyptian cleric who has a popular weekly program on the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera, said Muslims must "gain international status to defend their faith."