Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy (or Muhammad cartoons crisis) (Danish:Muhammedkrisen) began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005. The newspaper announced that this publication was an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship. Muslim groups in Denmark complained, and the issue eventually led to protests in many countries around the world, which included violent demonstrations and riots in some Islamic countries.
Danish Muslim organisations that objected to the depictions responded by petitioning the embassies of Islamic countries and the Danish government to take some form of action in response, and filed a judicial complaint against the newspaper, which was dismissed in January 2006. After the Danish government refused to meet with representatives of the Islamic countries and would not intervene in the case, a number of Danish imams made trips to the Middle East during the autumn of 2005 to raise awareness of the issue.
After the issue received prominent media attention in some Islamic countries, Muslims held protests across the world in late January and early February 2006, some of which escalated into violence resulting in a total of more than 200 reported deaths, attacks on a number of Danish and other European diplomatic missions, attacks on churches and Christians, and a major international boycott. Various groups responded by endorsing the Danish policies, including "Buy Danish" campaigns and other displays of support. The cartoons were then reprinted in a large number of newspapers around the world. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the controversy as Denmark's worst international relations incident since the Second World War. The incident came at a time of already unusually heightened political and social tension between the Islamic world and the West, following a number of high profile Islamic terrorist attacks in the West, most notably the September 11 attacks, and Western military interventions in Muslim countries, such as the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; with tensions already high, the cartoons and the reaction to them grew from, and aggravated, already-strained relations. The relationship between Muslims in Denmark and the broader society was also at a low point, and the conflict came to symbolise the many misunderstandings between the minority group and the rest of society.
Critics of the cartoons described them as Islamophobic, racist, or baiting and blasphemous to Muslims, possibly intended to humiliate a Danish minority, or as a manifestation of ignorance about the history of Western imperialism, double standards, and stereotyping. Supporters generally said that the publication of the cartoons was a legitimate exercise of the right of free speech, regardless of the validity of the expression itself or that it was important to be able to openly and frankly discuss Islam without fear and that the cartoons made important points about topical issues. The controversy ignited a considerable debate regarding the limits of freedom of expression, religious tolerance, and the relationship of Muslim minorities with their broader societies in the West, as well as between the Islamic World in general and the West.
|Events and reactions|
Debate about self-censorship 
On 16 September 2005 Danish news service Ritzau published an article discussing the difficulty encountered by the writer Kåre Bluitgen, who was initially unable to find an illustrator prepared to work on his children's book Koranen og profeten Muhammeds liv (English: The Qur'an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad). Three artists had declined Bluitgen's proposal out of fear of reprisals before one agreed to assist anonymously, who also confirmed that he was afraid for his, and his family's safety. According to Bluitgen, one artist declined due to the murder in Amsterdam of the film director Theo van Gogh the year before; another declined, citing the attack on a lecturer at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute in Copenhagen. (In October 2004 a lecturer at the Niebuhr Institute at the University of Copenhagen was assaulted by five assailants who opposed his reading of the Qur'an to non-Muslims during a lecture.)
The story gained some traction, with all the major Danish newspapers following up on the story the following day. The refusal of the first three artists to participate was seen by many as evidence of self-censorship out of fear of violence from Islamists, which led to much debate in Denmark.
At an editorial meeting of Jyllands-Posten ("The Jutland Post"), Denmark's largest daily newspaper, on 19 September the idea was floated, initially by reporter Stig Olesen, to ask the members of the newspaper illustrators union if they would be willing to draw the prophet Muhammad. This would be a sort of "experiment" or "test" to see the degree to which professional illustrators in fact did feel threatened. Flemming Rose, culture editor, was interested in the idea and wrote to the 42 members of the union asking them to draw Muhammad "as they saw him."
15 illustrators responded to the letter. three declined to participate: one did not know how to contribute to what he called a vague project, one thought the project was stupid and badly paid, and one said he was afraid. Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste thought the response was inconclusive regarding the question of self-censorship — 12 drawings had been submitted - three from employees of the newspaper itself, and two which did not actually directly show the prophet. They thought that some of the illustrators that had not responded were employed by other newspapers and thus prohibited from working for Jyllands-Posten. In the end, Juste decided that the piece was more of an opinion feature than a news item given its inconclusive results, and it was decided to publish it as an opinion piece in the culture section, entirely under the direction of editor Rose.
Peter Hervik, a professor of Migration Studies, has since argued that the results of this "experiment" disproved the idea that self-censorship was a serious problem in Denmark, because the overwhelming majority of cartoonists responded positively or refused for contractual or philosophical reasons. Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste has since admitted that the survey "lacked validity and the story fell short of sound journalistic basis." Hervik maintains that this, along with the fact that the most controversial cartoons were all drawn by the newspaper's own staff cartoonists demonstrates that the newspaper's "desire to provoke and insult Danish Muslims exceeded the wish to test the self-censorship of Danish cartoonists."
Rose, wrote the editorial which accompanied the cartoons in which he argued there had been a half-dozen cases of self-censorship, pitting freedom of speech against the fear of confronting issues about Islam in late September 2005, so he thought it was legitimate news story. He cited several cases of supposed self-censorship as a result of fear of violent reprisals from Islamists that took place around the same time of the publication: the translators of a book critical of Islam did not want their names published; the Tate gallery in London withdrew an installation by the avant-garde artist John Latham depicting the Quran, Bible and Talmud torn to pieces, and comedian Frank Hvam declared (in an interview with Jyllands-Posten) that he would hypothetically dare to urinate on the Bible on television, but not on the Quran. In addition, he cited the case of a Danish imam who had met with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and "called on the prime minister to interfere with the press in order to get more positive coverage of Islam."
On 30 September 2005, Jyllands-Posten published an article entitled "Muhammeds ansigt" ("The face of Muhammad") incorporating the cartoons. The article consisted of the 12 cartoons and an explanatory text, in which Rose wrote:
Modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where one must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is of minor importance in the present context. [...] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him.
— Flemming Rose, 
Later, Rose explained his intent further in The Washington Post: "The cartoonists treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point: We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society, not strangers. The cartoons are including, rather than excluding, Muslims."
The publication of the cartoons was also complemented by an editorial titled “The Threat of Darkness” (Truslen fra mørket) condemning "Islamic spiritual leaders" "who feel entitled to interpret the prophet’s word, and cannot abide the insult that comes from being the object of intelligent satire."
In October 2005, Politiken, another leading Danish newspaper, followed up with their own poll of thirty-one of the forty-three members of the Danish cartoonist association. Twenty-three said they would be willing to draw Muhammad. One had doubts, one would not be willing because of fear of possible reprisals, and six artists would not be willing because they respected the Muslim ban on depicting Muhammad.
Description of the cartoons 
The 12 cartoons were drawn by 12 professional cartoonists in Denmark. Four of the cartoons have Danish texts. One deliberately evades the whole problem, depicting a school child in Denmark named Muhammad, not the prophet Muhammad. One of the cartoons is based on a special Danish cultural expression, and one includes a Danish politician.
The immediate response to the publication included angry letters from Muslims and newspaper sellers who refused to distribute that day's paper. In the days following the publication the cartoons received significant attention in other Danish press outlets. According to Jytte Klausen, "most people groaned that the newspaper was at it again, bashing Muslims. The instinct was to split the blame." Berlingske-Tidende criticised the 'gag', but also believed that Islam should be openly criticised. Politiken attacked Rose's account of growing self-censorship, surveying Danish cartoonists themselves, and writing that self-censorship was not generally perceived as a problem. On October 4 a local teenager called the newspaper offices threatening to kill the cartoonists, but he was arrested after his mother turned him in.
Shortly after the publication, a group of Islamic leaders formed a protest group. Raed Hlayhel called a meeting to discuss their strategy, which took place in Copenhagen a few days after the cartoons appeared. The Islamic Faith Community and four separate mosques from around the country were represented. The meeting established 19 "action points" to try to sway public opinion about the cartoons. Ahmed Akkari from an Aarhus mosque was designated the group's spokesman. The group planned a variety of political activities, from launching a legal complaint against the newspaper to writing letters to media outlets inside and outside Denmark. Other actions included contacting politicians and diplomatic representatives, organising a protest in Copenhagen, and mobilising Danish Muslims via text message and through mosques. A one day strike and "sleep in" were planned, but never took place.
A peaceful protest was held in Copenhagen on 14 October 2005, which attracted about 3500 demonstrators.
Having received petitions from Danish imams, eleven ambassadors from Muslim-majority countries — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Libya, Morocco, as well as the Head of the Palestinian General Delegation — asked for a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on 12 October 2005. They wanted to discuss what they perceived as an "on-going smearing campaign in Danish public circles and media against Islam and Muslims". In a letter, the ambassadors mentioned not only the issue of the Muhammad cartoons, but also a recent indictment against Radio Holger, and statements by MP Louise Frevert and the Minister of Culture, Brian Mikkelsen. It concluded:
We deplore these statements and publications and urge Your Excellency’s government to take all those responsible to task under law of the land in the interest of inter-faith harmony, better integration and Denmark's overall relations with the Muslim world.
— Letter from 11 ambassadors, 
The government answered with a letter without addressing the request for a meeting: "The freedom of expression has a wide scope and the Danish government has no means of influencing the press. However, Danish legislation prohibits acts or expressions of blasphemous or discriminatory nature. The offended party may bring such acts or expressions to court, and it is for the courts to decide in individual cases."
The refusal to meet the ambassadors was later criticised by the Danish political opposition, twenty-two Danish ex-ambassadors, and former Liberal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen. Hervik has written, "While it is certainly true that the prime minister did not have a legal right to intervene in the editorial process, he could have publicly (as an enactment of free speech) dissociated himself from the publication, from the content of the cartoons, from Rose’s explanatory text, from Jyllands-Posten’s editorial of the same day, and from the general association of Islam with terrorism. Rasmussen did none of those. Instead, he used his interview [on 30 October 2005] to endorse Jyllands-Posten’s position and the act of publishing the cartoons."
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister "expressing alarm" about the cartoons and other recent incidents and insults committed by Danish politicians. As autumn continued, the Islamic countries continued to work diplomatically to try to have the issue — and the other issues mentioned in their initial letter — addressed by the Danish government. Turkey and Egypt were particularly active. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Copenhagen in November in an encounter described by the Turkish press as "a crisis." Erdogan clashed with Rasmussen over the cartoons as well as Denmark's allowing Roj TV, a television station affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, to broadcast from the country. After trying to engage the Danish government on a number of diplomatic levels, Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and the secretary-generals of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League sent letters to the OSCE, OECD, and EU foreign policy coordinator complaining about the Danish inaction.
Judicial investigation of Jyllands-Posten (October 2005 - January 2006) 
On 27 October 2005, representatives of the Muslim organisations which had organised to complain about the cartoons in early October filed a complaint with the Danish police claiming that Jyllands-Posten had committed an offence under section 140 and 266b of the Danish Criminal Code, precipitating an investigation by the public prosecutor.
- Section 140 of the criminal code, known as the blasphemy law, prohibits disturbing public order by publicly ridiculing or insulting the dogmas of worship of any lawfully existing religious community in Denmark. Only one case has ever resulted in a sentence, a 1938 case involving an anti-Semitic group. The most recent case was in 1971 when a program director of Danmarks Radio was accused in a case involving a song about the Christian god, but found not guilty.
- Section 266b criminalises insult, threat or degradation of natural persons, by publicly and with malice attacking their race, colour of skin, national or ethnic roots, faith or sexual orientation.
On 6 January 2006, the Regional Public Prosecutor in Viborg discontinued the investigation as he found no basis for concluding that the cartoons constituted a criminal offence because the publication concerned a subject of public interest and Danish case law extends editorial freedom to journalists when it comes to a subject of public interest. He stated that, in assessing what constitutes an offence, the right to freedom of speech must be taken into consideration, while noting that freedom of speech must be exercised with the necessary respect for other human rights, including the right to protection against discrimination, insult and degradation. In a new hearing, resulting from a complaint about the original decision, the Director of Public Prosecutors in Denmark agreed.
Danish Imams tour the Middle East 
In December, after failing to make any progress with the Danish government or the newspaper, the "Committee for Prophet Honouring" decided to try to gain support and leverage outside of Denmark by meeting directly with religious and political leaders in the Middle East. They created a 43 page dossier (commonly known as the Akkari-Laban dossier, after two leading imams (Arabic: ملف عكّاري لبن)) containing the cartoons and supporting materials for their meetings. 
The dossier, finalised for the group's trip to Lebanon in mid-December, contained the following:
- An introduction describing the situation of Muslims in Denmark, the country itself, background on the cartoons, and the group's action plan.
- Clippings of the articles and editorials from 30 September 2005 that accompanied the cartoons and a copy of the page with cartoons. (translated to Arabic)
- An 11 point declaration by Raed Hlayhel against alleged Western double standards about free speech; he claims that Islam and the Prophet Muhammed are ridiculed and insulted under the guise of free speech while parallel insults would be unacceptable.
- 11 of the 12 cartoons from the paper itself blown up to A4 size and translated. (The cartoon with Muhammad and the sword was not shown here, only in the overview page)
- Copies of letters and press releases put out by the group.
- Arabic translation of the Jyllands-Posten editorial of 12 October discussing the early controversy and refusing to apologise.
- 10 satirical cartoons from another Danish newspaper, Weekendavisen, published in November 2005 (in response to the Jyllands-Posten controversy) which Kasem Ahmad, spokesman for Islamisk trossamfund called "even more offensive" (than the original 12 cartoons) despite being intended as satirical. He alleged that they were part of a broader campaign to denigrate Muslims and were gratuitously provocative;
- Three additional pictures that the dossier's authors alleged were sent to Muslims in Denmark, said to be indicative of the "hate they feel subjected to in Denmark."
- Some clippings from Egyptian newspapers discussing the group's first trip to Egypt.
The imams claimed that the three additional images were sent anonymously by mail to Muslims who were participating in an online debate on Jyllands-Posten, and were apparently included to illustrate the perceived atmosphere of Islamophobia in which they lived. On 1 February BBC World incorrectly reported that one of them had been published in Jyllands-Posten. This image was later found to be a wire-service photo of a contestant at a French pig-squealing contest in the Trie-sur-Baise's annual festival. One of the other two additional images (a photo) portrayed a Muslim being mounted by a dog while praying, and the other (a cartoon) portrayed Muhammad as a demonic paedophile.
Various experts who have examined the dossier, including Helle Lykke Nielsen, have said that it was broadly accurate on from a technical point of view, but contained a few falsehoods and could easily have misled people not familiar with Danish society, an assessment which the imams have since agreed to. Some mistakes include that Islam is not officially recognised as a religion in Denmark, which it is; that the cartoons are the result of a contest; and that Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his role as Prime Minister gave a medal to Ayaan Hirsi Ali (he gave one in his capacity as party leader of the Liberal Party); the imams also claimed to speak on behalf of 28 organisations, many of which later denied any connection to them. Additions such as the "pig" picture may have polarised the situation (the association of a person and a pig is considered particularly insulting in Islamic culture), as they were confused for the cartoons published in the newspaper. Muslims who met with the group later claimed Akkari's delegation had given them the impression that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen somehow controlled or owned Jyllands-Posten
Equipped with the dossier, delegations of imams circulated it on trips to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon in early December, presenting their case to many influential religious and political leaders, asking for support. The group was given high level access on these trips through their contacts in the Egyptian and Lebanese embassies.
The dossier was distributed informally at a 7–8 December 2005 summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Mecca, with many heads of state in attendance. The OIC issued a condemnation of the cartoons: "[We express our] concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Mohamed." The communique went on to attack the practice of "using the freedom of expression as a pretext for defaming religions." Eventually an official communiqué was issued requesting that the United Nations adopt a binding resolution banning contempt of religious beliefs and providing for sanctions to be imposed on contravening countries or institutions. The attention of the OIC is said to have led to media coverage which brought the issue to popular attention in many Muslim countries.
International protests 
Protests against the cartoons were held around the world in late January and February 2006. Many of these eventually turned violent, resulting in "at least 200 deaths" globally according to the New York Times. Large demonstrations were held in many majority Islamic countries, and almost wherever a significant Muslim minority lived, including Nigeria, Canada, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, and throughout continental Europe. The demonstrations against the cartoons became intertwined with other local political grievances in many cases. Notably, Muslims in the north of Nigeria used protests to attack local Christians as part of an ongoing battle for influence, radical sunnis used protests against governments in the region, and authoritarian governments used them to bolster their religious and nationalist credentials in internal disputes which explains some of their intensity.
Several Western embassies were attacked; the Danish and Austrian embassies in Lebanon and the Norwegian and Danish representations in Syria suffered particularly severe damage. Both peaceful and violent protests took place in Islamic countries, as well as in other countries with large Muslim immigrant communities, including the 2006 Islamist demonstration outside the Embassy of Denmark in London. Christians and Christian churches were also targeted for violent retribution in some places. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State of the United States accused Iran and Syria of organising many of the protests in Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Several death threats and reward offers for killing those responsible for the cartoons were made, resulting in the cartoonists going into hiding. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it Denmark's worst international relations incident since the Second World War.
Peaceful counter-demonstrations in support of the cartoons, Denmark, and freedom of speech were also held.
Several ministers in various countries resigned or were suspended amidst the controversy, among them Roberto Calderoli in Italy for his outspoken support of the cartoons, Laila Freivalds in Sweden for her role in shutting down a website displaying the cartoons, and the Libyan Interior Minister after a riot (in response to comments by Calderolli) in Benghazi which led to the deaths of at least 10 people. In India, Haji Yaqoob Qureishi, a minister in the Uttar Pradesh state government, announced a cash reward for anyone who beheaded "the Danish cartoonist" who caricatured Mohammad. Subsequently, a case was filed against him in the Lucknow district court and demands were made for his dismissal by eminent Muslim scholars in New Delhi. As of 2011 legal action was ongoing.
A consumer boycott was organised in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Middle Eastern countries against Denmark. On March 5, 2006 Ayman al-Zawahiri of Al-Qaeda urged all Muslims to boycott not only Denmark, but also Norway, France, Germany and all others that have "insulted the Prophet Mohammed" by printing cartoons depicting him.
On 9 September 2006, the BBC News reported that the Muslim boycott of Danish goods had reduced Denmark's total exports by 15.5% between February and June. This was attributed to a decline in exports to the Middle East by approximately 50%. "The cost to Danish businesses was around 134 million euros ($170m), when compared with the same period last year, the statistics showed." However, the Guardian newspaper in the UK also reported, "While Danish milk products were dumped in the Middle East, fervent rightwing Americans started buying Bang & Olufsen stereos and Lego. In the first quarter of this year Denmark’s exports to the US soared 17%." Overall the boycott did not have much effect on the Danish economy.
Consumer goods companies were the most vulnerable to the boycott; among companies heavily effected were Arla Foods, Novo Nordisk, and Danisco. Arla, Denmark's biggest exporter to the Middle East, lost 10 million kroner (1.6 million dollars, 1.3 million euros) per day in the initial weeks of the boycott.
On the other side of the equations, Scandinavian tourism to Egypt fell by between 20-30% in the first two months of 2006.
Response to protests 
In response to the initial protests from Muslim groups, Jyllands-Posten published two open letters on its website, each of them in a Danish and an Arabic version, defending the right of the newspaper to publish the drawings but at the same time apologising for any offense the drawings may have caused. The second letter, dated 30 January 2006, had a Danish version, an Arabic version, and an English version: "Serious misunderstandings in respect of some drawings of the Prophet Mohammed have led to much anger (…) Please allow me to correct these misunderstandings. On 30 September last year, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten published 12 different cartoonists’ idea of what the Prophet Mohammed might have looked like. (…) In our opinion, the 12 drawings were sober. They were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims for which we apologise."
On 26 February 2006, the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard who had drawn the "bomb in turban" picture, the most controversial of the 12, explained: "There are interpretations of it [the drawing] that are incorrect. The general impression among Muslims is that it is about Islam as a whole. It is not. It is about certain fundamentalist aspects, that of course are not shared by everyone. But the fuel for the terrorists’ acts stem from interpretations of Islam. [...] if parts of a religion develop in a totalitarian and aggressive direction, then I think you have to protest. We did so under the other 'isms."
Six of the cartoons were first reprinted by the Egyptian newspaper El Fagr on 17 October 2005, along with an article strongly denouncing them, but publication did not provoke any condemnations or other reactions from religious or government authorities. Between October 2005 and early January 2006, examples of the cartoons were reprinted in major European newspapers from the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Romania, and Switzerland. After the beginning of major international protests they were further re-published around the globe, but primarily in continental Europe.
Notably, the cartoons were not reprinted in any major newspapers in Canada, the United Kingdom, or many in the United States where editorials covered the story without including them. Several newspapers were closed and editors fired or arrested for their decision or intention to re-publish the cartoons. The 60 year old Malaysian newspaper Sarawak Tribune was shut down between 2006 and 2010, when it was republished as the New Sarawak Tribune. In Wales, Tom Wellingham, a student newspaper editor at Cardiff University, was suspended after publishing the caricature in Gair Rhydd, the Students' Union paper.
In some countries, including South Africa, publication of the cartoons was banned by government or court order.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference denounced calls for the death of the Danish cartoonists. OIC's Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a press release at the height of crisis stating: "The Secretary General appeals to the Muslims to stay calm and peaceful in the wake of sacrilegious depiction of Prophet Muhammad which has deeply hurt their feelings. He has stated that Islam being the religion of tolerance, mercy and peace teaches them to defend their faith through democratic and legal means."
Twelve high profile writers signed a letter called "Manifesto: Together Facing the New Totalitarianism" which was published in a number of newspapers. It said that the violence sparked by the publication of cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad "shows the need to fight for secular values and freedom." 
Later developments 
Numerous violent plots related to the cartoons have been discovered in the years since the main protests took place in early 2006. These have primarily targeted editor Flemming Rose, cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, the property or employees of Jyllands-Posten or other newspapers that had printed the cartoons, or representatives of the Danish state. Westergaard particularly has been the subject of several attacks or planned attacks and now lives under special police protection. On New Year's Day 2010 police had to shoot a would be assassin in Westergaard's home. For details of various incidents see: 2006 German train bombing plot, 2008 Danish embassy bombing in Islamabad, Hotel Jørgensen explosion, and December 2010 Copenhagen terror plot.
Naser Khader, a Muslim Danish MP founded an organisation called Democratic Muslims in Denmark in response to the controversy. He was worried that what he believed to be Islamists were seen to speak for all Muslims in Denmark. He argues that there is still a sharp division within the Danish Muslim community between Islamists and moderates, and that Denmark had become a target for Islamists, but that some good came from the crisis because "the cartoon crisis made clear that Muslims are not united and that there is a real difference between the Islamists and people like myself. Danes were shown that talk of 'the Muslims' was too monolithic." He believes that the crisis served as a "wake-up" call to European countries regarding radical Islam.
In 2009, when Brandeis professor Jytte Klausen wanted to publish a book on the controversy, The Cartoons that Shook the World, Yale University press refused to publish images of the cartoons and other representations of Muhammad in the book out of fear for the safety of its staff. In response, another company published Muhammad: The "Banned" Images in what it called "a 'picture book' – or errata to the bowdlerized version of Klausen's book." Five years to the day after the cartoons were first published in Jyllands-Posten, they were republished in Denmark in Rose's book Tyranny of Silence. 
Background, opinions and issues 
Danish journalistic tradition 
Freedom of speech was guaranteed in law by the Danish Constitution in 1849, as it is today by The Constitutional Act of Denmark of 5 June 1953. It is defended vigorously, although it was suspended during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II. Freedom of expression is also protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Danish newspapers are privately owned and independent from the government, and Danish freedom of expression is quite far-reaching, even by Western European standards. In the past, this has provoked official protests from Germany for Denmark allowing the printing of neo-nazi propaganda, and from Russia for "solidarity with terrorists" following the World Chechen Congress held in Denmark in 1999. The organisation Reporters Without Borders ranked Denmark at the top of its Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2005.
Denmark does have a blasphemy law, which makes it an offence to "mock legal religions and faiths." However, no one has been charged with the law since 1971, and no one convicted since 1938. A complaint was filed against Jyllands-Posten under this section of the law, but in his decision the Regional Public Prosecutor stated "that in assessing what constitutes an offence under both section 140 and section 266 b of the Danish Criminal Code, the right to freedom of expression must be taken into consideration" and found that no criminal offence had taken place in this case. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions went on to say: "there is, therefore, no free and unrestricted right to express opinions about religious subjects. It is thus not a correct description of existing law when the article in Jyllands-Posten states that it is incompatible with the right to freedom of expression to demand special consideration for religious feelings and that one has to be ready to put up with 'scorn, mockery and ridicule'."
While Jyllands-Posten has published satirical cartoons depicting Christian figures, it also rejected unsolicited cartoons in 2003 which depicted Jesus, opening it to accusations of a double standard. In February 2006, Jyllands-Posten also refused to publish Holocaust cartoons, which included cartoons that mocked or denied the Holocaust, offered by an Iranian newspaper. Six of the less controversial entries were later published by Dagbladet Information, after the editors consulted the main rabbi in Copenhagen, and three cartoons were later reprinted in Jyllands-Posten. After the competition had finished, Jyllands-Posten also reprinted the winning and runner-up cartoons.
The newspaper has been described as conservative and it was supportive of the then ruling party Venstre. It frequently reported on the activities of imams it considered radical, including Raed Hlayhel and Ahmed Akkari. Peter Hervik has argued that anti-Islamic positions and discourse dominated the editorial leadership of the newspaper from at least 2001 until the cartoon crisis. An article written by journalist Orla Borg, employed at the paper, won second prize in the EU “For Diversity. Against Discrimination” Awards for journalism that contributed to "better public understanding of the benefits of diversity and the fight against discrimination in employment" in 2005.
Islamic tradition 
The Qu'ran condemns idolatry, and this has led some Islamic scholars to interpret the Qu'ran as prohibiting figurative representation (this is called aniconism). However, since Islam has many centres of religious authority, opinion and tradition in this regard is varied. In popular practice there is no general injunction against pictorial representation of people outside of religious contexts. Images of the prophet have been made on many occasions, although this representation has always been restricted an socially regulated.
Within Muslim communities, views have varied regarding pictorial representations. Shi'a Islam has been generally tolerant of pictorial representations of human figures, including Muhammad. Contemporary Sunni Islam generally forbids any pictorial representation of Muhammad, but has had periods allowing depictions of Muhammad's face covered with a veil or as a featureless void emanating light. A few contemporary interpretations of Islam, such as some adherents of Wahhabism and Salafism, are entirely aniconistic and condemn pictorial representations of any kind. The Taliban, while in power in Afghanistan, banned television, photographs and images in newspapers and destroyed paintings including frescoes in the vicinity of the Buddhas of Bamiyan (which they also destroyed).
Insulting the Prophet Muhammad 
In Muslim societies, insulting Muhammad is considered one of the gravest of all crimes. According to Ana Belen Soage of the University of Granada, "The Islamic sharî‘a has traditionally considered blasphemy punishable by death, although modern Muslim thinkers like Mohammad Hashim Kamali maintain that, given that the Quran does not prescribe a punishment, determining a penalty is left to the judicial authorities of the day." In the Quran itself "God often instructs Muhammad to be patient to those who insult him and, according to historical records, no action was taken against them during his years in Mecca." 
Many Muslims have explained their anti-cartoon stance as against insulting pictures and not so much as against pictures in general. According to the BBC: "It is the satirical intent of the cartoonists and the association of the Prophet with terrorism, that is so offensive to the vast majority of Muslims." This link played into a widespread perception among Muslims across the world that many in the West harbour a hostility towards Islam and Muslims.
Political issues 
The cartoon crisis became one of the most high profile events around the world in 2006. It precipitated a great deal of coverage and commentary, mostly focusing on the situation of Muslims living in the West, the relationship between the broader "Western World" and "Islamic World", and issues surrounding freedom of speech, secularism, and self-censorship.
Situation of Muslim minority in Denmark 
Approximately 350,000 non-Western immigrants lived in Denmark in 2006, representing about 7% of the total population. According to figures reported by the BBC, about 270,000 of these were Muslim (ca. 5%) of the population. In the 1970s Muslims arrived from Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco and the former Yugoslavia to work. In the 1980s and 90s the majority of Muslim arrivals were refugees and asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Bosnia. Muslims are the second largest religious group in Denmark (behind Lutherans).
Peter Hervik has argued that the cartoon crisis must be seen in the context of an increasingly politicised media environment in Denmark since the 1990s, increasingly negative coverage of Islam and the Muslim minority in Denmark, anti-Muslim rhetoric from the governing political parties, and policies of the government such as restrictions on immigration, and the abolishment of institutions like the Board for Ethnic Equality in 2002. Hervik believes that these themes have often been left out of international coverage of the issue and that they render a narrative in which Jyllands-Posten and the Danish government were simply innocent victims in a dispute over freedom of speech inaccurate.
Kiku Day, writing in the Guardian said: "We were a liberal and tolerant people until the 1990s, when we suddenly awoke to find that for the first time in our history we had a significant minority group living among us. Confronted with the terrifying novelty of being a multicultural country, Denmark took a step not merely to the right but to the far right."
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) Special Rapporteur "on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance", Doudou Diène, saw xenophobia and racism in Europe as the root of the controversy, and partly criticised the government of Denmark for inaction after the publication of the cartoons. However, Aurel Sari has since argued that the special rapporteur's interpretation was "wrong" and that "neither the decision to commission images depicting the Prophet in defiance of Islamic tradition, nor the actual content of the individual cartoons can be regarded as racist within the meaning of the relevant international human rights instruments" although "some of the more controversial pictures may nevertheless be judged ‘gratuitously offensive’ to the religious beliefs of Muslims in accordance with the applicable case-law of the European Court of Human Rights." This means that the Danish authorities probably could have prohibited the drawings' dissemination if they had chosen to.
Danish Muslim politician, Naser Khader has said, "Muslims are no more discriminated against in Denmark than they are elsewhere in Europe... Generally, Danes give you a fair shake. They accept Muslims if you declare that you are loyal to this society, to democracy. If you say that you are one of them, they will accept you. If you have reservations, they will worry." His concern has centred around the power of "Islamism" or fundamentalist political Islam in the Muslim community in Denmark which he has tried to fight, especially in the wake of the crisis by forming an association of democratic "moderate" Muslims.
Relationship between the West and Muslims 
The incident occurred at a time of unusually strained relations between the Muslim world and the West. This was as a result of decades of Muslim immigration, and recent political struggles and violent incidents such as September 11 and a string of Islamist terrorist attacks and Western interventions in Muslim countries.
Some commentators see the publications of the cartoons as part of a deliberate effort to show Muslims and Islam in a bad light, thus influencing public opinion in the West in aid of various political projects such as Jyllands-Posten's explicit support for the then ruling Danish Venstre party's "promise to tackle the problem of foreigners who refused to ʻintegrateʼ into Danish society."
Many Muslims saw the cartoons as a sign of lack of education about Islam in Denmark and in the West. Egyptian preacher and TV star Amr Khaled urged his followers to take action to remedy supposed Western ignorance: ‘It is our duty to the prophet of God to make his message known … Do not say that this is the task of the ulema (religious scholars) – it is the task of all of us’. Ana Soage also said, "the targeting of a religious symbol like Muhammad, the only prophet that Muslims do not share with Jews and Christians, was perceived as the last in a long list of humiliations and assaults: it is probably not a coincidence that the more violent demonstrations were held in countries like Syria, Iran and Libya, whose relations with the West are tense."
The controversy was used to highlight a supposedly irreconcilable rift between Europeans and Islam – as the journalist Andrew Mueller put it: "I am concerned that the ridiculous, disproportionate reaction to some unfunny sketches in an obscure Scandinavian newspaper may confirm that ... Islam and the West are fundamentally irreconcilable" – and many demonstrations in the Middle-East were encouraged by the regimes there for their own purposes. Different groups used this tactic for different purposes, some more explicitly than others: for example anti-immigrant groups, nationalists, feminists, classical liberals and national governments.
Critics, such as Ehsan Ahrari, have accused some European countries of double standards in adopting laws that outlaw Holocaust denial but still rallying around the concept of freedom of speech in this case. Anti-holocaust or genocide denial laws were in place in Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Romania in 2005. However, Denmark has no such laws, and there was - and still is - no EU wide law against holocaust denial.
Charles Krauthammer, among others, believed there was a double standard in many protesters' demands for religious sensitivity in this case, but not in others. He asked, "Have any of these “moderates” ever protested the grotesque caricatures of Christians and, most especially, Jews that are broadcast throughout the Middle East on a daily basis."
Francis Fukuyama warned that "while beginning with a commendable European desire to assert basic liberal values," the controversy was an alarming sign of the degree of cultural conflict between Muslim immigrant communities in Europe and their broader populations, and advocated a measured and prudent response to the situation.
Christopher Hitchens argued that official reaction in the West, particularly the United States was too lenient toward the protesters and Muslim community in Denmark, and insufficiently supportive of Denmark and the right to free speech: "nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let's be sure we haven't hurt the vandals' feelings." William Kristol also thought that the response of Western leaders, with the exception of the Danish Prime Minister, was too weak and that the issue was used as an excuse by "those who are threatened by our effort to help liberalize and civilize the Middle East" to fight back against the "assault" on radical Islamists and Middle Eastern dictatorships.
Fleming Rose has spoken about why he did not expect a violent reaction, and what the incident implies aobut the relationship between the West and the Muslim world: "I spoke to [historian of Islam] Bernard Lewis about this, and he said that the big difference between our case and the Rushdie affair is that Rushdie is perceived as an apostate by the Muslims while, in our case, Muslims were insisting on applying Islamic law to what non-Muslims are doing in non‑Muslim countries. In that sense, he said it is a kind of unique case that might indicate that Europe is perceived as some kind of intermediate state between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world."
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Islamic theologian, called for a day of anger from Muslims in response to the cartoons. In addition he supported calls for a UN resolution that "categorically prohibits affronts to prophets - to the prophets of the Lord and His messengers, to His holy books, and to the religious holy places." He also castigated governments around the world for inaction on the issue, saying "Your silence over such crimes, which offend the Prophet of Islam and insult his great nation, is what begets violence, generates terrorism, and makes the terrorists say: Our governments are doing nothing, and we must avenge our Prophet ourselves. This is what creates terrorism and begets violence."
Reaction of Islamist or Muslim governments 
Some commentators believed that the controversy was used by Islamists competing for influence both in Europe and the Islamic world. Jytte Klausen concluded that the Muslim reaction to the cartoons was not a spontaneous emotional reaction arising out of the clash of Western and Islamic civilisations. "Rather it was orchestrated, first by those with vested interests in elections in Denmark and Egypt, and later by Islamic extremists seeking to destabilise governments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Libya, and Nigeria." Other regimes in the Middle East have been accused of taking advantage of the controversy, and adding to it, in order to demonstrate their Islamic credentials, distracting from their domestic situations by setting up an external enemy, and "(using) the cartoons [...] as a way of showing that the expansion of freedom and democracy in their countries would lead inevitably to the denigration of Islam."
Among others, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed a "Zionist conspiracy" for the row over the cartoons. Palestinian Christian diplomat Afif Safieh, then the Palestine Liberation Organization's envoy to Washington, alleged the Likud party concocted the distribution of Muhammad caricatures worldwide in a bid to create a clash between the West and the Muslim world.
Freedom of speech, political correctness and self-censorship 
Critics of political correctness see the cartoon controversy as a sign that attempts at judicial codification of such concepts as respect, tolerance and offence have backfired on the West. Michael Neumann wrote, "Western piety has left the West without a leg to stand on in this dispute. It is no good trumpeting rights of free expression, because these rights are now supposed to have nebulous but severe limitations." Some, such as Tim Cavanaugh argued that the incident revealed the danger of hate speech laws: "The issue will almost certainly lead to a revisiting of the lamentable laws against 'hate speech' in Europe, and with any luck to a debate on whether these laws are more likely to destroy public harmony than encourage it. Muslim activists are finding out why getting into a negative-publicity fight is as inadvisable as wrestling with a pig: You get dirty and the pig enjoys it."
Reflecting back on the crisis, editor Rose said, "When I wrote the accompanying text to the publication of the cartoons, I said that this act was about self-censorship, not free speech. Free speech is on the books; we have the law, and nobody as yet has thought of rewriting it. This changed when the death threats were issued; it became an issue of the Sharia trumping the fundamental right of free speech." He also highlighted what he believed to be a difference between political correctness and self-consorship, which he considered more dangerous: "There is a very important distinction to be made here between what you perceive as good behavior and a fear keeping you from doing things that you want to do.... A good example of this was the illustrator who refused to illustrate a children's book about the life of the Prophet. He is on the record in two interviews saying that he insisted on anonymity because he was afraid."
Christopher Hitchens argued that it was important to affirm "the right to criticize not merely Islam but religion in general" and criticised media outlets which did not print or display the cartoons while covering the story. Ralf Dahrendorf argued that the violent reaction to the cartoon crisis constituted a sort of counter-enlightenment which must be defended against. Sonia Mikich wrote in Die Tageszeitung, "I hereby refuse to feel badly for the chronically insulted. I refuse to argue politely why freedom of expression, reason and humour should be respected," arguing that those things are part of a healthy society and that deeply held feelings or beliefs should not be exempt from commentary; additionally, those offended had the option of ignoring them.
Ashwani K. Peetush of Wilfrid Laurier University has argued that in a liberal democracy freedom of speech is not absolute, and that reasonable limits are put on it such as libel, defamation, or hate speech laws in almost every society in order to protect individuals from "devastating and direct harm". He argues that the cartoons "create a social environment of conflict and intimidation for a community that already feels that its way of life is threatened. I do not see how such tactics incorporate people into the wider public and democratic sphere, as Rose argues. They have the opposite effect: the marginalised feel further marginalised and powerless." Thus he argues that it is reasonable to consider two of the cartoons as hate speech, which directly undermine a group of people (Muslims) by forming part of an established discourse linking all Muslims with terrorism and barbarity.
Comparable incidents 
The following incidents are often compared to the cartoon controversy. For a more complete listing of incidents please see, Freedom of speech versus blasphemy
- The Satanic Verses controversy (novel, 1988, global)
- Life of Brian (film, 1979, United States and Europe)
- Mohammad, Messenger of God (film, 1977, United States, Libya, UK and Lebanon)
- Gregorius Nekschot (cartoons, 2008, Netherlands)
- Innocence of Muslims (film, 2012, United States)
- Charlie Hebdo (cartoon controversies, 2011 and 2012)
- Fitna, 2008 Dutch film about Islam, which led to worldwide Muslim protests and a hate speech trial
- Behzti, (2004 play, United Kingdom)
- Submission (film, 2004, the Netherlands) 
See also 
- Dialogue Among Civilizations
- Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy
- Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
- Muhammad FAQ Images Info on how to avoid looking at images of Muhammad in Wikipedia
- Dove World Outreach Center Quran-burning controversy
- Blasphemy Day is celebrated on 30 September to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of the cartoons
- The Sudanese teddy bear blasphemy case; the arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment of a British schoolteacher in Sudan in 2007, for allegedly insulting Islam by allowing her class to name a teddy bear "Muhammad"
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- Cited in The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (2006) – p26
- Heiko Henkel (May/June 2006). "‘The journalists of Jyllands-Posten are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs’ The Danish cartoon controversy and the self-image of Europe". Radical Philosophy. "Europeʼs lingering xenophobia coupled with deplorable opportunism on the political Centre-Right does not alone explain the enthusiasm with which so many Danes and other Europeans have come to rally in support of the cartoons – and apparently feel so little sympathy for their offended Muslim countrymen and -women. To understand why so many Europeans turn a blind eye to the stigmatisation of Muslims in Europe it is important to consider that, over the past fifteen years or so, the critique of ʻMuslim fundamentalismʼ has become a cornerstone in the definition of European identities. As well as replacing anti-communism as the rallying point for a broad ʻdemocratic consensusʼ (and, in this shift, remaking this consensus), the critique of Islamic fundamentalism has also become a conduit for imagining Europe as a moral community beyond the nation. It has emerged as a banner under which the most diverse sectors of society can unite in the name of ʻEuropean valuesʼ: feminists and Christian conservatives, social democrats and neoliberals, nationalists and multiculturalists, civil rights activists and consumption-oriented hedonists."
- Ahrari, Ehsan (4 February 2006). "Cartoons and the clash of 'freedoms'". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "EU agrees new racial hatred law". 19 April 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2012. "The agreement makes it an offence to condone or grossly trivialise crimes of genocide - but only if the effect is incitement to violence or hatred."
- "EU adopts measure outlawing Holocaust denial". International Herald Tribune. 19 April 2007.
- Quoted in: Gerstenfeld, Manfred (April 2, 2006). "The Mohammed-Cartoon Controversy, Israel, and the Jews: A Case Study". Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism 43.
- "Europe vs. Radical Islam by Francis Fukuyama". Policy Review. 27 February 2006.
- HItchens, Christopher (21 February 2006). "Stand up for Denmark!". Slate. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Kristol, William (20 February 2006). "Oh, the Anguish! The cartoon jihad is phony". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- "Special Dispatch No.1089: Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi Responds to Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad: Whoever is Angered and Does Not Rage in Anger is a Jackass - We are Not a Nation of Jackasses". Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project. MEMRI. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "The limits to free speech – Cartoon wars". The Economist. 9 February 2006.
- "The Cartoon Jihad-The Muslim Brotherhood's project for dominating the West.". Weekly Standard. 20 February 2006.
- "Behind the cartoon war: radical clerics competing for followers". Christian Science Monitor. 23 February 2006.
- "Islamic Activism Sweeps Saudi Arabia". Washington Post. 23 March 2006.
- Klausen, Jytte. The Cartoons That Shook the World. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124729. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Cartoons Tap Into Deep-Seated Grievances". Forbes. 8 February 2006.
- Witte, Griff (9 February 2006). "Opportunists Make Use of Cartoon Protests". Washington Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Clash of Civilization". WallStreetJournal. 11 February 2006.
- "Qatari University Lecturer Ali Muhi Al-din Al-Qardaghi: Muhammad Cartoon Is a Jewish Attempt to Divert European Hatred from Jews to Muslims". Al-Jazeera/MemriTV. 2 March 2006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2006.
- "Cartoons 'part of Zionist plot'". London: Guardian. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "PA: Likud behind Muhammad cartoons". ynet. 13 February 2006.
- "Respectful Cultures & Disrespectful Cartoons". Counterpunch News. 13 February 2006.
- "The Mountain Comes to Muhammad". Reason Magazine. 13 February 2006.
- Hitchens, Christopher (4 February 2012). "Cartoon Debate: The Case for Mocking Religion". Slate. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Dahrendorf, Ralf. "Today’s Counter-Enlightenment". Project Syndicate. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Mikich, Sonia; transl. Naomi Buck (6 February 2006). "What next, bearded one? [de:Was nun, ferner Bärtiger?]". die tageszeitung. Translation on Signandsight.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Peetush, Ashwani K. (May 2009). "Caricaturizing Freedom: Islam, Offence, and The Danish Cartoon Controversy". Studies in South Asian Film and Media 1 (1): 173–188. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Stone, Susan (7 February 2006). "The Cartoon Jihad: 'Satanic Verses Taught us a Lesson'". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Horovitz, David. "Where are Muslim satirists, asks Terry Gilliam". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Gilbert, Gerard (21 July 2011). "Controversy resurrected: BBC to dramatise religious outrage that greeted Monty Python's Life of Brian". The Independent. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
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- Klausen, Jytte (28 March 2008). "Opinion: Taking a Cue from the Danish Cartoon Scandal". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Ranstorp, Magnus (April 2008). "Danish Cartoons, Wilder’s Fitna movie underscores need for better crisis management across EU". Civil Protection Network. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Hansen, John; Kim Hundevadt (2006). Provoen og Profeten: Muhammed krisen bag kulisserne (The Provocateur and the Prophet: Behind the Scenes of the Muhammad Crisis) (in Danish). Copenhagen: Jyllands-Postens Forlag. ISBN 87-7692-092-5.
- Hervik, Peter (2012). "The Danish Muhammad Cartoon Conflict". Current Themes in IMER Research (Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM)) 13. ISSN 1652-4616.
- Klausen, Jytte (2009). The Cartoons That Shook the World. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124729.
- Plate, Brent (2006). Blasphemy: Art that Offends. London: Black Dog Publishing. ISBN 1-904772-53-6.
- Rose, Flemming (2010). The Tyranny of Silence. Copenhagen: JP/Politikens Forlaghus.
Primary sources 
- Second open letter to the Muslims of Saudi Arabia from Jyllands-Posten
- PDF (68.7 KB)
- PDF (85.9 KB)
- Danish cartoons and sacred imagery
- Tolerance on Trial: Why We Reprinted the Danish Cartoons (op-ed by the publisher of the English-language Yemen Observer newspaper), JURIST
- Why I drew the cartoon: The 'Muhammad Affair' in retrospect, by Kurt Westergaard, The Daily Princetonian, 1 October 2009
- Protesters Burn European Embassies, Consulates, Churches in Damascus and Beirut 4–5 February 2006
- BBC HARDtalk: Ahmad Abu Laban and Fleming Rose, 8 February 2006
- Bloody Cartoons A documentary by Carsten Kjær from October 2007 on the cartoon affair, including many interviews with the major protagonists.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Muhammad|
- The 12 cartoons in full size at Newspaper Index (Internet Archive)
- Picture series – Burning of the Danish embassy in Syria