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|Vebjørn K. Selbekk|
|Born||Vebjørn K. Selbekk
April 14, 1969
|Notable credit(s)||Newspaper editor who became the world's focal point over an issue concerning the schism between freedom of the press and religious feelings in the Islamic world.|
Vebjørn K. Selbekk (born April 14, 1969) is a Norwegian newspaper editor and journalist. Selbekk became widely known in Norway when he as a chief editor of the conservative Protestant Norwegian newspaper Magazinet January 9, 2006 was one of the first to reprint the Muhammad cartoons.
Vebjørn Selbekk grew up in Meråker in Nord-Trøndelag, and started his career as a writer in Stjørdalens Blad. He has attended Livets Ord's Bible school in Uppsala, Sweden, and has for many years been an important figure of the Norwegian charismatic Free Church arena.
The Muhammad caricatures
Selbekk came under global media attention when he as editor-in-chief of the evangelical Christian newspaper Magazinet on January 9, 2006 re-printed facsimiles of 12 caricature drawings of the Prophet Muhammad which had earlier been published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, stating to do so in the name of freedom of the press. Many Muslims felt deeply insulted by the drawings, and the publication engendered violent protests. Selbekk received multiple death threats, and in the Muslim world dramatic demonstrations took place and Norwegian and Danish embassies were burned down.
On February 9, 2006 the Muslim organization Al-Jinnah Foundation and its leader Khalid Mohammad filed criminal charges against Vebjørn Selbekk for blasphemy and for having "put Norwegian lives at risk abroad by the provocative act of publicizing the Muhammad drawings." The day after, after Selbekk had offered a public apology, Mohammed Hamdan, the leader of the Islamic Council of Norway (Islamsk Råd Norge), asked of all Muslims that they accept Selbekk's apology and let the matter rest.
Vebjørn Selbekk has written several books:
- 2001: Jødehat på norsk. ("Hating Jews, Norwegian style") ISBN 82-7341-936-3
- 2006: Truet av islamister, ("Threatened by Islamists"), about the events surrounding the publication of the Muhammad caricatures. ISBN 82-476-0332-2
- 2007: T.B. Barratt - forfulgt og etterfulgt. ("T.B. Barratt - persecuted and followed") ISBN 978-82-302-0422-1
- Interview in the Norwegian Dagsavisen (Norwegian)