Twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad have sparked protests and riots from Muslims in several countries. The U.S. State Department issued a statement calling the drawings "offensive to the beliefs of Muslims."
"Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable," said department press officer Janelle Hironimus. "We call for tolerance and respect for all communities and for their religious beliefs and practices."
The drawings first appeared in September in a Danish newspaper and were reprinted in several European newspapers this week citing freedom of the press. "This is about insensitivity and a trend toward Islamaphobia," said Indonesia's spokesman.