Thursday, February 14, 2008

Danish newspapers defy Muslim fanatics to support cartoonist

"Denmark's three main newspapers will take the provocative step today of reprinting a cartoon showing the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb instead of a turban after the arrest yesterday of three suspected Islamic terrorists for plotting to murder the artist.

The cartoon by Kurt Westergaard was one of 12 depicting the prophet which triggered riots around the world leading to dozens of deaths when they first appeared in 2005. The violent backlash demonstrated starkly the incendiary interface between Islam and the boundaries of freedom of expression in Europe.

Mr Westergaard, who has spent three months moving between secret addresses while security services tracked the alleged plotters, was back at work yesterday to draw a self-portrait for today's editions. It shows him still clutching his pen and a Danish flag, but he is obscured by a dark and bloody cloud featuring Arabic script which declares: "Glorious Koran." ....

"Unfortunately, the matter shows that there are in Denmark groups of extremists that do not acknowledge and respect the principles on which Danish democracy is built," Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister, said. "In Denmark we have freedom not only to think and talk, but also to draw." Jyllands-Posten and two other Danish papers, Politiken and Berlingske Tidende, said that they would reprint the original cartoon as part of their news coverage today. Jyllands-Posten posted it on the front page of its website yesterday.


Don't hold your breath waiting for a major American newspaper to print any of the cartoons