Plot to Kill Cartoonist Foiled-11 Danish papers print controversial Mohammed cartoon

via published on February 13, 2008

COPENHAGEN — Eleven Danish newspapers printed Wednesday a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed a day after police foiled a murder plot against the cartoonist, as editors vowed to defend freedom of expression.

Three of the country’s biggest dailies were among those that published the cartoon.

The drawing featured the prophet’s head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse.

The caricature was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by daily Jyllands-Posten which were considered offensive by many Muslims. Their publication sparked violent protests in a number of Muslim countries in January and February 2006.

On Tuesday, Danish police said they had arrested three people, a Dane of Moroccan origin and two Tunisian nationals, suspected of plotting to kill the cartoonist of the turban cartoon, Kurt Westergaard.

The newspapers that printed the cartoon on Wednesday said they did so to take a stand against self-censorship.

“Freedom of expression gives you the right to think, to speak and to draw what you like…no matter how many terrorist plots there are,” conservative broadsheet Berlingske Tidende wrote in an editorial.

Berlingske Tidende had not previously printed the caricature despite the massive controversy that engulfed Denmark for months in 2006.

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