|Events and reactions|
| Timeline |
| Jyllands-Posten |
Denmark (Muslim community)
| 2008 Danish embassy bombing in Islamabad |
2010 Norway terror plot
2010 Copenhagen terror plot
Charlie Hebdo shooting
Lars Vilks controversy
2015 Copenhagen attacks
Freedom of speech
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons were first published by Jyllands-Posten in late September 2005; approximately two weeks later, nearly 3,500 people demonstrated peacefully in Copenhagen. In November, several European newspapers re-published the images, triggering more protests.
Labour strikes began in Pakistan the following month, and several organizations criticized the Danish government. More protests occurred in January 2006, and later that month a boycott of Danish goods began. Comedian Omar Marzouk ridicules Muhammad as he defends freedom of speech. Several countries withdrew their ambassadors to Denmark, and widespread protests, some of them violent, began. The protests continued in February. In Damascus, Syria, both the Norwegian embassy and a building containing the Danish, Swedish, and Chilean embassies were stormed and set on fire by protesters. In Beirut, thousands of people protested on the streets, and the Danish General Consulate was stormed and set on fire. As of 2 March 2006, at least 139 people have died primarily during riots stemming from protests. On 1 January 2010, a man was shot whilst attempting to kill Kurt Westergaard, one of the original cartoonists.
Jyllands-Posten denied an unsolicited submission that caricatured the resurrection of Jesus, with the reason, that they were not funny, and would "offend some readers, not much but some".
We aren't even talking about the prosecution of Christians in Muslim countries, we are simply stating the truth: these people actually suffered because of their beliefs". Furthermore, the Saint Benedict Foundation argues that freedom of religion is non-existent in most Muslim countries and that non-Muslims are still prosecuted in these countries, but we don't mention this on our posters because of the recent cartoon controversy. A tramcompany in Poznan was willing to display the posters on their trams after a buscompany in Warsaw refused it.
Umran Javed (Birmingham) was found guilty of soliciting murder by having chanted death threat slogans during an anti-cartoon rally at London's Danish embassy.He, and three other young British Muslim men, were later sentenced to between four and six years in prison for their actions and statements during that demonstration.
A student guest editor of one of the several student newspapers of Clare College, Cambridge reprints one of the cartoons in an issue devoted to religious satire. It is only the second student newspaper (and fourth media outlet) in the UK to reprint the cartoons in whole or in part. Widespread student outrage ensues—although the National Secular Society leaps to the editor's defense—and Clare punitively cuts the paper's funding in response the incident, as well as destroying most copies of the newspaper. The editor, against whom Clare initiates disciplinary action, is forced to go into hiding for his safety. Ultimately, the editor was reprimanded and forced to publish an apology.
The French newspaper Libération reprints the Mohammed cartoons anew, to highlight the start of a trial against another French newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, and in support of free speech. The trial was initiated by several major Muslim organizations who sued Charlie Hebdo because of their decision to publish the cartoons in February 2006.
Islamic countries pushed through a resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which "prohibits the defamation of religion". The resolution mentions no religion except Islam. The initiative was brought in the immediate aftermath of the cartoon controversy, and is considered a direct response to it.
A network of Danish Muslim organisations, upon losing a libel court case against the Danish People's Party, threatens a fatwa against Jyllands-Posten unless the paper apologizes.
During the ongoing trial of four terror suspects arrested in Denmark, known as the Vollsmose case, one of the accused testified that Jyllands-Posten culture editor Flemming Rose was the target of a terror bombing the group had planned. According to the suspect, they were considering sending a remote-controlled car packed with explosives into the private residence of the editor. Threats were also allegedly made towards Danish MP Naser Khader, who defended the publication of the cartoons.
On 12 February 2008, Danish police arrested three men (two Tunisians and one Danish national originally from Morocco) suspected of planning to assassinate Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew the Bomb in the Turban cartoon. Shortly afterwards, the Dane was released without charge; the two Tunisians were not charged either, but expelled to Tunisia. Despite this, Westergaard has since been under police protection. He has said he is angry that a "perfectly normal everyday activity [drawing political cartoons] which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness." Jyllands-Posten, and many other Danish newspapers including Politiken and Berlingske Tidende , reprinted Westergaard's Bomb in the Turban cartoon, as a statement of commitment to freedom of speech. The liberal newspaper Politiken had been critical of the original publication of the cartoons, but reprinted this one now as a gesture of solidarity in the face of a specific threat.The next day, 13 February 2008,
In Denmark, some public disturbances with burnt-out carsand a school set ablaze followed these events, but the police are unsure if it is directly related to the cartoons controversy or the fact that the two Tunisians were subsequently sentenced to deportation without a trial. Other sources claim the riots in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, which started before the arrests, were wholly unrelated to the cartoons controversy, and were rather set off by police harassment of ethnic minorities in areas of Copenhagen. Some disturbances had occurred already in the days preceding the arrests. Peaceful demonstrations were held in Copenhagen after Friday prayers, with the flags of Hizb ut-Tahrir prominent.
Several Danish newspapers, including Jyllands-Posten, reprints one of the cartoons as a response to the news of the arrest made the day before.
Egypt banned editions of four foreign newspapers including the New York-based Wall Street Journal and Britain's The Observer for reprinting the controversial Danish cartoons criticizing Muhammad.
A video allegedly from Osama Bin Laden threatens the EU over the reprinting of the cartoon.
An attempt to blow up the Danish embassy in Islamabad.
In October 2008, Ekstra Bladet published excerpts from an interview with Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadisaying Danish troops in Oruzgan Province are a "primary target" of the Taliban because of the cartoon issue, adding the Danes would be forced to leave Afghanistan.
Officials at Yale University Press decided to expunge reproductions of the cartoons along with all other images of Muhammad from a scholarly book entitled The Cartoons that Shook the World, by professor Jytte Klausen.News of the decision sparked criticism from some prominent Yale alumni as well as from the American Association of University Professors. Yale defended its rationale by saying it feared inciting violence if the images were published. Flemming Rose, the cultural editor who commissioned the cartoons, has described Yale's action as "[giving] in to intimidation... not even intimidation but an imagined intimidation". The images of Muhammad censored by Yale were published in the 2009 book Muhammad: The "Banned" Images .
On 1 January 2010, Danish police shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard in Aarhus. Westergaard drew the best known of the cartoons, which depicted Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. The man was described as a 28-year-old Somali linked to the Islamist al-Shabab militia. He reportedly shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill Westergaard, who alerted police after locking himself into a panic room in the house, which was a specially fortified bathroom.Police said that the man was "armed with an axe and a knife in either hand", and broke down the entrance door of the house with the axe. The man attempted unsuccessfully to break down the door of the panic room while shouting swear words. He was shot in his right leg and left hand after reportedly throwing the axe at a police officer who arrived at the scene. Westergaard's five-year-old granddaughter was present in the living room of the house during the incident, but neither Westergaard nor his grandchild were harmed. Bomb disposal experts searched the home in order to ensure that a device had not been planted. The Somali man was carried into court on a stretcher to face two charges of attempted murder, which he denied. He was not named at the time of his arrest as the result of an injunction in the Danish courts. A spokesman for al-Shabab, Sheikh Ali Muhamud Rage, commented: "We appreciate the incident in which a Muslim Somali boy attacked the devil who abused our prophet Mohammed and we call upon all Muslims around the world to target the people like him." On 4 February 2011, the attacker, named in court as Mohamed Geele, was sentenced to nine years in prison for attempting to commit an act of terrorism. Geele appealed the sentence, claiming that he was attempting to scare Westergaard to make him "stop bragging about drawing the cartoon", but was subsequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and permanent expulsion from Denmark by the High Court on 22 June 2011.
Following a meeting between the editor-in-chief of the Danish newspaper Politiken Tøger Seidenfaden and Faisal A.Z. Yamani, Saudi attorney-at-law, who represented eight Muslim groups from the Middle East and Australia, the Danish newspaper apologized for having reprinted a cartoon by Kurt Westergaard in 2008, and issued a press release saying:"Politiken has never intended to reprint the Cartoon Drawing as a statement of editorial opinion or values but merely as part of the newspaper's news coverage (...) We apologize to anyone who was offended by our decision to reprint the cartoon drawing." The apology prompted criticism from leading Danish politicians, among them prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who stated that "Politiken is bowing to other's views of our freedom of speech and this can lead to further attacks on Danish freedom of speech," as well as the head of the Danish Union of Journalists, but Politiken has replied that the settlement did not mean that it had imposed on itself a ban on future publications of the drawings.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel honours cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. He received the M100 media prize for his "courage" to defend democratic values despite threats of violence and death. The Central Council of Muslims in Germany criticized the award ceremony.
A small explosion at Hotel Jørgensen in Copenhagen was described by the police as an accident with a letter bomb that was meant to be sent to Jyllands-Posten.
A 37-year-old Iraqi Kurd that was arrested in Norway earlier that year suspected of planning unspecified terrorist attacks confessed that one of his targets was Jyllands-Posten.
The journalist Flemming Rose published his 500-page book Tavshedens Tyranni (Tyranny of Silence) on the fifth anniversary of the first publishing of the cartoons.
The newspaper destroyed an edition of its weekend supplement, Uke-Adressa, before it was distributed. The reason was a satirical drawing by the newspaper's cartoonist, Jan O. Henriksen, that editor Arne Blix in subsequent interviews stated was in conflict with editorial policies. Blix declined to give details of the drawing or the reason for its unacceptability, however according to Henriksen the depiction was of Kurt Westergaard holding one of his Mohammad drawings.
Denmark's foreign minister Lene Espersen met in Cairo with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar on 13 October 2010 and stated that the hurt caused to Muslims from cartoons lampooning Muhammad was "very regrettable".She denies that this should be interpreted as an apology for the drawings, stating "I explained that the people of Denmark has no wish to violate or hurt the feelings of others. We do not wish to demonize anyone, we are a tolerant people. And then I explained our constitutional right to free speech, and they understood".
In December 2010, WikiLeaks published a classified diplomatic cable that had been written in September 2006 by James P. Cain, the United States Ambassador to Denmark at the time. It reported that the Jyllands-Posten had decided against reprinting the cartoons on the first anniversary of the original publication, and observed: "Our discreet discussions with the paper and with senior Danish government officials underscore both how close we came to another potential crisis and how much the defense of free speech and domestic political calculations remain paramount for the government and for many Danes."
Five men were arrested in connection with a suspected plot to stage a gun attack of the offices of the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen. Jakob Scharf, the head of Denmark's PET intelligence agency, described the men as "militant Islamists". Four of the suspects, including Munir Awad, were detained in Denmark, and the fifth was detained in Sweden.
Commemorating the demonstrations in Benghazi on 17 February 2006 that were initially against the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, but which turned into protests against Gaddafi, the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition plans a coordinated protest by all anti-Gaddafi groups.The ensuing "Day of Revolt" or "Day of Rage" against Muammar Gaddafi develops into the Libyan Civil War.
Oslo District Court found two men guilty of planning a terror attack against Jyllands-Posten and the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. In October Borgarting Court of Appeal upheld the convictions and sentenced one of the convicted who is of Uighur origin to eight years in prison and the other who is of Iraqi Kurdish origin to three years in prison. The former has appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court of Norway.
A few days after the assumed assassination attempt of Lars Hedegaard, The Islamic Society in Denmark stated that it had been a mistake to go to Lebanon and Egypt in 2006 to show the caricatures of Muhammad.
Kurt Westergaard and his Danish gallery "Galleri Draupner" released a new edition of the Muhammad cartoons. The first one was made in 2000 for the Danish art museum in Frederikshavn and the second and third were made for Jyllands Posten. They were all handmade, printed, framed, numbered (only 40 were printed) and sold in an all-leather box on a special event in the gallery in Skanderborg.
A teacher working at Batley Grammar School in Batley, North England was suspended after showing students an image of the cartoon of Muhammad taken from the Danish newspaper. The teacher went under police protection, with authorities worried for her safety following the murder of Samuel Paty in which a French teacher was decapitated for allegedly showing students an image of Muhammad made by Charlie Hebdo.
Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, commonly shortened to Jyllands-Posten or JP, is a Danish daily broadsheet newspaper. It is based in Aarhus C, Jutland, and with a weekday circulation of approximately 120,000 copies.
Flemming Rose is a Danish journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He previously served as foreign affairs editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. As culture editor of the same newspaper, he was principally responsible for the September 2005 publication of the cartoons that initiated the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy early the next year, and since then he has been an international advocate of the freedom of speech.
Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's publication of satirical cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad on September 30, 2005, led to violence, arrests, inter-governmental tension, and debate about the scope of free speech and the place of Muslims in the West. Many Muslims stressed that the image of Muhammad is blasphemous, while many Westerners defended the right of free speech. A number of governments, organizations, and individuals have issued statements defining their stance on the protests or cartoons.
Carsten Juste is a Danish journalist and former editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish large-circulation newspaper.
Kurt Westergaard was a Danish cartoonist. In 2005 he drew a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, wearing a bomb in his turban as a part of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, which triggered several assassinations and murders committed by Muslim extremists around the world, diplomatic conflicts, and state-organized riots and attacks on Western embassies with several dead in Muslim countries. After the drawing of the cartoon, Westergaard received numerous death threats and was a target of assassination attempts. As a result, he was under constant police protection.
The Akkari-Laban dossier is a 43-page document which was created by a group of Danish Muslim clerics from multiple organizations set out to present their case and ask for support from Islamic leadership in Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere, in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
This page collects opinions, other than those of governments or inter-governmental organizations, on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. For an overview, and details on the controversy please see the main page.
Ahmed Akkari is a Danish political activist who became known for his involvement in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Widely called an "Imam" in the media, he himself denied being one. He was a co-author of the Akkari-Laban dossier, which played a major role in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy by bringing the issue to the attention of influential decision-makers in the Middle East. In 2013 he distanced himself from his former position and in June 2020 became one of the founders of the political party New Centre-Left.
The 2006 Islamist demonstration outside the Embassy of Denmark in London took place on 3 February 2006, in response to controversy surrounding the publication of editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005. The extremist UK-based Islamist groups al Ghurabaa and The Saviour Sect staged a controversial protest march from London Central Mosque near Marylebone Station to the Danish Embassy near Knightsbridge Underground station.
Vebjørn Selbekk is a Norwegian newspaper editor and author. Selbekk became widely known in Norway and abroad after he in 2006 reprinted a facsimile of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons as editor of the Christian newspaper Magazinet, sparking a major incident and ensuing controversy. He has since been awarded by the free press organization Fritt Ord for his "firm defence of freedom of expression". Since 2015 he has been a member of the Broadcasting Council of the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons on 30 September 2005, most of which depicted Muhammad, a principal figure of the religion of Islam. The newspaper announced that this was an attempt to contribute to the debate about criticism of Islam and self-censorship. Muslim groups in Denmark complained, and the issue eventually led to protests around the world, including violence and riots in some Muslim countries.
In Islam, blasphemy is impious utterance or action concerning God, but is broader than in normal English usage, including not only the mocking or vilifying of attributes of Islam but denying any of the fundamental beliefs of the religion. Examples include denying that the Quran was divinely revealed, the Prophethood of one of the Islamic prophets, insulting an angel, or maintaining God had a son.
The Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy began in July 2007 with a series of drawings by Swedish artist Lars Vilks that depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog. Several art galleries in Sweden declined to show the drawings, citing security concerns and fear of violence. The controversy gained international attention after the Örebro-based regional newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published one of the drawings on 18 August as part of an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of religion.
The international reaction to Fitna consisted of condemnation from Muslims, several fatwa against Geert Wilders, and attempts by many Islamic countries to censor the film. The Dutch government immediately distanced itself from the film. Several Muslim organizations and political parties organized boycotts against Dutch products.
The 2008 Danish embassy bombing was an attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on 2 June 2008. The suspected suicide car bombing in the parking lot of the embassy took place at around 12:10 pm (UTC+5), killing at least six and wounding many more. The Danish national security intelligence agency PET concluded that al-Qaeda was behind the attack. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack on 5 June 2008. The attack was confirmed to be an answer to the reprinting of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's Muhammed cartoons in February 2006, as well as the presence of Danish troops in Afghanistan.
Denmark–Syria relations are foreign relations between Denmark and Syria. Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 29, 1992. Denmark is represented in Syria through its embassy in Damascus. Following the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and subsequent attack on the Danish embassy in 2006, relations between the two countries were greatly strained and later suspended.
Islam is the state religion of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and most Jordanians are Sunni Muslims. The kingdom prevents blasphemy against any religion by education, by laws, and by policies that discourage non-conformity.
Denmark–Egypt relations are foreign relations between Denmark and Egypt. Denmark has an embassy in Cairo, and consulates in Suez, Port Said and Cairo. Egypt has an embassy in Copenhagen. Both countries are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The 2010 Norway terror plot was a Norway-based plan to bomb the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and to kill the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Two men with links to Al-Qaeda were convicted for the plot, while a third person was acquitted for terror charges.
Cappelen Damm har kjøpt rettighetene til den omstridte boken Tavshedens Tyranni av den danske journalisten Flemming Rose. I boken blir omstridte tegninger of profeten Muhammed publisert. Rose er tidligere redaktør i Jyllands-Posten. Torsdag, på dagen fem år etter at avisen trykket de omstridte karikaturtegningene av profeten Muhammed første gang, ble boken hans gitt ut i hjemlandet. Cappelen Damm omtaler boken som en 500-siders essaysamling om ytringsfriheten og dens grenser.