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Welsh church magazine editor resigns over cartoon row

The Muslim Council of Wales has accepted the apology of Christian leaders outraged that the editor of an (Anglican) Church in Wales magazine published a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad next to God and Buddha in heaven saying – "Don’t complain – we’ve all been caricatured here."

Meurig Llwyd Williams, the archdeacon of Bangor, resigned on 21 March after the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, apologised to the leaders of Wales’ small Muslim community.

The cartoon drawing, reprinted from the French daily newspaper France Soir, whose editor was fired, was published in a small publication newspaper called Y Llan which means church or parish in the Welsh language.

"The article was perfectly okay. It called for religious tolerance," Archbishop Williams was quoted saying in Cardiff’s Western Mail newspaper. "But for some reason, the editor decided to print one of those cartoons, which was a gross error of judgement. We recalled all the papers and I’ve unreservedly apologised to my Muslim colleagues and they’ve been very gracious."

Saleem Kidwai, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Wales, said Morgan telephoned him and apologised. "The archbishop has apologised as we have accepted that apology."

Welsh Assembly Equality Minister Jane Hutt said, "I’m glad to hear that the editor has resigned," the Western Mail reported. In February, Cardiff University’s student newspaper Gair Rhydd suspended its editor Tom Wellingham and destroyed 8000 copies after it reprinted some of the cartoons published in a Danish newspaper that triggered global protests in January.

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