Kurt Westergaard produced the most well-known of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, the portrait of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. The image he drew has become iconic, especially in Europe, where you can find it decorating almost any Counterjihad website.
This morning it was revealed that a murder plot against Mr. Westergaard — shown on the left in the photo alongside his fellow blasphemer, the Swedish artist Lars Vilks — has just been foiled by the Danish police. According to Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper which originally published the Motoons back in 2005:
Murder plot against Danish cartoonist
Early Tuesday morning, Danish police arrested several people with a Muslim background suspected of conspiring to kill Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist with Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.
A formal statement by the police setting out details of the action is expected within the next few hours.
Kurt Westergaard is one of the 12 cartoonists who on 30 September 2005 published cartoons of Muslim prophet Mohammed.
The group arrested includes Danish as well as foreign citizens. The Danish Security and Intelligence Service have followed the group for months.
The cartoons and an explanatory article led, as is well known, to the so-called Mohammed crisis involving violent demonstrations, the boycott of Danish goods and the burning of Danish embassies.
Statement by cartoonist Kurt Westergaard:
“Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me. However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness. I have attended to my work and I still do. I could not possibly know for how long I have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life. It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life.”
A Danish imam believes the whole thing is a coincidence. From Jyllands-Posten again, as translated by our Swedish correspondent LN:
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“The murder plans have got nothing to do with Islam,” says the Danish-born imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen. “It is just some people who want to kill Westergaard.”
According to our Danish correspondent TB, Politiken, Jyllands-Posten, Berlingske Tidende, TV 2, 180 Grader, and Kristeligt Dagblad have already reprinted (or are about to reprint) the cartoons, with more newspapers to follow.
He says, “Politiken (of all papers, the NYT of Denmark) will bring out Muhammad with a turban bomb tomorrow in solidarity.” Here’s his translation of the article:
Politiken: We will reprint the cartoon
The chief editor from Politiken is appalled by the murder threats against Jyllands-Posten’s artist
Also in Politiken the responsible editor Thøger Seidenfaden reacts in consternation to the news of the plans, revealed by the PET, for the murder of the drawer Kurt Westergaard, who along with 11 others drew the prophet Muhammad.
“It is appalling and depressing that a group of people in Århus apparently have been on their way to murder Kurt Westergaard. It is a great joy that the police have prevented it.”
He announces that Politiken tomorrow will publish the cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, which was one of the drawings that created a stir in several Muslim countries after it was published.
“Politiken will of course — like many other media — tomorrow reprint once again Kurt Westergaard’s controversial caricature of Mohammed. It shows that terror is not only despicable — but also in the end powerless. In a free society we can discuss how the debate should be conducted, but not whether the debate will occur,” says Tøger Seidenfaden.
According to TB, “Lars Vilks has already made a blog post backing up Westergaard. It shows a picture of Westergaard (from the gathering last year in Trykkefrihesselskabet, Copenhagen) above one of his MoDogs… I like this man!”
Henrik of Europe News reports via email: “It’s all over the media today. All politicians are reacting sharply, and the blog comments — Nyhedsavisen in particular — are full of ‘Send the bastards home!’. GoV looks mild and civil compared to the MSM blogs today.”
If only we could experience this kind of national solidarity in the USA!
If such a thing had occurred here in the United States, you know what the drill would be: Frowning TV anchors would disapprove once again of the original publication of the cartoons by the newspaper. No media outlet would reprint or display the cartoons. Any video in which they appeared would have the offending portion blurred out. President Bush would deplore the lack of “sensitivity” on the part of the offending media, call for “restraint on all sides” while justice ran its course, and declare once again that Islam is a great religion, a religion of peace and tolerance, a religion that has nothing to do with terrorism, etc blah yak…
Yes, we can all write the script. We’ve heard it so many times before.
By the time I looked at my email this morning at 7:00, I had been tipped to this story by no fewer than seven people, most of them Vikings. Thanks to everyone for keeping me informed.
Photo © Snaphanen.