The parliament of Pakistan and several Pakistani Muslim organizations protested against the decision of Norway’s Aftenposten to re-publish Kurt Westergaard’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the publication.
Editor in chief Hilde Haugsgjerd says the protests were to be expected.
After a week of debate Aftenposten decided to re-publish the Danish cartoons Friday 8. The recent attack on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard brings the re-publication of the cartoons up tp date, says aftenpostens editor in chief Hilde Haugsgjerd. -We’ve all the time defended the right to publish the drawings, and we published a facsimile of them in the beginning of the conflict in 2005. When the conflict escalated and turned international in 2006 we refrained from publishing them.
In Norway the debate on the so called Muhammad cartoons is back on the agenda as a result of the January 1 attack on Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Per Edgar Kokkvold, secretary general of the Norwegian Press Association, is critical of the general decision among Norwegian newspapers not to publish the caricatures. Not to publish the “harmless drawings is not to show respect of Muslim belief, but to bow down in fear of Islamist terror;” Kokkvold says. “The freedom of speech and religion is of such fundamental significance to our way of life that it is of utmost importance to draw the line,” he continues.
Akhtar Chaudhry, vice president of the Norwegian Parliament, says the attack on Westergaard is repelling, and an unacceptable attack on the freedom of speech. Even so, Chaudhry believes it is wrong to publish the caricatures in Norwegian newspapers and asks everyone to keep their calm and reconsider their responsibility not to arouse feelings that might contribute to tensions between different groups in society.
The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who in the autumn of 2007 published a drawing of Muhammad as a “roundabout dog”, received a threat over the phone January 4. The caller, who was later tracked to Somalia, spoke in broken Swedish and said that after Kurt Westergaard Vilks was next. Lars Vilks says he gets many threats, but this time chose to notify the police because of the assault on the Danish cartoonist.
CAIR called a satirical cartoon of Barack Obama on the cover of The New Yorker magazine, inflammatory for its depiction of the presidential hopeful and his wife, intending to portray them as Muslim, militant, pro-terrorist, and Anti-American. In a statement released earlier this week, CAIR stressed that these inflammatory images and spurious associations will only serve to reinforce the racism and anti-Muslim stereotypes the magazine says it is out to challenge. The Muslim advocacy and civil liberties group also said that the magazine cover failed to achieve its goal of lampooning right-wing caricatures of the Obamas.
Danish Muslims are planning to take the Jyllands-Posten daily newspaper of Denmark, to Europe’s highest rights court over the publication of satirical caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. The move to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights comes one day after a Danish court rejected a lawsuit by seven Muslims against the newspaper’s editors for publishing the offensive cartoons. Danish Muslim leaders described the Danish court’s decision as disappointing, but have hope that the European rights court will give the case more attention.
One of the largest publishing companies in Norway, Gyldendal, is pulling a new school textbook off the market. The book contains errors that could possibly endanger the safety of an editor caught in the debate over drawings of the prophet Muhammad. Gyldendal published a book on religion intended for high school students, called Eksistens (Existence), which contained coverage of the 2006 drawings of the prophet Muhammad. The book erroneously indicated that a Christian newspaper by Norwegian editor Vebjom Selbekk published caricatures of Muhammad. Fearful that this erroneous mention could endanger Selbekk with false accusation, all copies of the textbook were pulled and publishing is being halted.
According to Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Israel, Zionists, and unidentified oppressive powers are behind the production of the anti-Islamic film ‘Fitna.’ During a Friday prayer sermon, Khatami was quoted as saying Behind these satanic acts can be found the oppressive powers and the Zionist regime […] We see the hand of the Zionist regime behind these satanic acts and we cry ‘death to Israel.’ He also asserted that the film in addition the caricatures of the prophet Muhammad were a reaction to stop the blossoming of Islam in the world, but stated that it would have a reaction adverse to those intended by the authors.
More European newspapers should publish the hotly disputed Mohammed cartoons, said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as violent protests broke out in Sudan over the recent reprinting of the caricatures. “All European newspapers should print the [Mohammed] caricatures with the explanation, ‘We also think they’re pathetic, but the use of press freedom is no reason to resort to violence,” Schaeuble told the weekly edition of Die Zeit. The minister added that he “respected” the decision of 17 Danish newspapers earlier this month to reprint a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed with a turban that resembled a bomb with a lit fuse. The re-publication came a day after Danish authorities uncovered and foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist whose drawing first appeared in 2005.
Pre-dawn police raids in Denmark have netted five people suspected of involvement in a plot to kill a cartoonist whose depiction of the Prophet Muhammad helped spark international violence two years ago. Danish police conducted a series of pre-dawn raids Tuesday morning_and arrested several individuals suspected of planning to murder one of the 12 cartoonists whose unflattering depictions of the Prophet Muhammad led to worldwide protests in 2006. Those arrested include several “people with a Muslim background” with both Danish and foreign citizenship, according to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which originally published the caricatures in the autumn of 2005. The paper reports that cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was the target of the plot and that Danish authorities have been investigating the threat for some time.