Iranian Embassy in Baku Condemns Azeri Weekly for Abusive Remarks about Jesus Mary

BAKU (Combined Sources)–A small newspaper in Azerbaijan published a derogatory caption about a picture of Jesus Christ in what the editor said on Monday was a response to the Danish caricatures.

The caption in the Eni Khabar weekly–which has a circulation of just 2,700–included derogatory references to the birth of Christ and his mother Mary.

"We took this step as a worthy and equal response to the Danish newspaper that insulted the name of the Prophet Mohammad," Editor-in-Chief Faik Balabeili said.

The Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan has since then condemned the offensive remarks about Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary–Turan news agency said.

The embassy said that the offensive remarks could have appeared in the newspaper either because of a lack of knowledge of the Koran’s chapter on the Virgin Mary or to provoke hostility between Muslims and Christians.

The Iranian embassy–which has also condemned Western cartoons depicting Mohammad–was the first to react to the newspaper articles.

Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Media Council–Aflatun Amasov–has condemned the articles in Eni Khabar. Amasov said the publication of such articles were against the Constitution of the country–the media law–and the Code of Journalism.

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