Bloomberg: Iran summoned Denmark’s envoy to protest the reprinting of a caricature of the prophet Muhammad that triggered riots and the torching of Danish embassies two years ago, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. By Michael Heath and Christian Wienberg
Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) — Iran summoned Denmark’s envoy to protest the reprinting of a caricature of the prophet Muhammad that triggered riots and the torching of Danish embassies two years ago, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Denmark’s three biggest newspapers yesterday printed Kurt Westergaard’s cartoon of Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban, first published in 2005, to show their support for the cartoonist a day after police foiled a murder plot against him.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry told the ambassador “of Iran’s serious concern about the republication of an insulting caricature about Prophet Muhammad,” IRNA said. The ministry requested officials ensure there is no repetition of “such insults against the beliefs of over 1.5 billion world Muslims.”
Westergaard was among 12 artists whose cartoons of Muhammad were printed in 2005 by Jyllands-Posten, prompting protests in January and February 2006 that culminated with the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in Syria and Lebanon. Riots also erupted in countries such as Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria.
The caricature of Muhammad was published yesterday by Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten after Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service detained two Tunisians and a Dane with a Moroccan background who said they planned to murder 73-year-old Westergaard.
“It’s unacceptable that a Danish newspaper artist has apparently been the target of a murder plan by fanatical Muslims,” Berlingske said in an editorial. The newspaper said it published the cartoon “to document what’s at stake in this case and as unambiguous support for the freedom of expression we all want to defend.”
Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said in February 2006 the violent reactions to the cartoons was “the worst foreign policy crisis Denmark has experienced since World War II.”