Friday, February 17, 2006

I'll have roses of the prophet Muhammad with a side of freedom fries

It's sad that I have to hesitate before poking fun at Iran, but they're just following U.S. precedent. Maybe we're not so different.

Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad."

Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Muhammad' pastries," the union said in its order.

"This is a punishment for those who started misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam," said Ahmad Mahmoudi, a cake shop owner in northern Tehran.

Some customers took immediately to the new name. But others were less enthusiastic about the protest.

"I just want the sweet pastries. I have nothing to do with the name," homemaker Zohreh Masoumi told the sales clerk taking her order.

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