Danish Ambassador Speaks To WRAL About Cartoon Controversy
Posted February 8, 2006 6:14 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — On Wednesday, President George W. Bush called for an end to the violence created in the wake of the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Bush's ambassador to Denmark, Raleigh attorney Jim Cain, said the Danish government is grateful for his action.
Before the president made his comments in Washington, he talked with Denmark's prime minister at the urging Cain. According to Cain -- who spoke to WRAL from his office in Copenhagen -- that conversation helped calm the fears of many people.
"We've been trying to help in the past few days, and to get the word from the top, the president, was very helpful to the Danish people," he said.
The violent response over the publishing of the cartoons has been far more than anyone expected, particularly in a country as tranquil as Denmark. Is this a sign of a much greater problem?
"It's about avoiding the violence, protecting the embassies and the people of Denmark and other European countries whose papers have printed the cartoons," said Cain.
The violence is costing Danes an estimated $1 million a day -- a serious loss. But Cain says there's now a more pressing need.
"We've moved the focus from trade and boycotts to protecting property and people," he said.
Because the Danish government is calling some of its citizens home from other countries, WRAL asked Cain if he felt safe in Copenhagen.
"There is a great deal of concern with the threats in the streets of Iran and Afghanistan, India and Pakistan," said Cain. "And there's been no move to the Danish mainland, and we're doing our best to prevent that."
Earlier Wednesday afternoon, the Islamic Association of Raleigh issued a news release stating: "We denounce the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and urge restraint to violent protests."