Danish embassy in Damascus in 2005 riots
Riots over Muhammad caricature (Archive)
Denmark's five major daily newspapers republished on Wednesday one of the 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad which angered Muslims around the world, as a protest against a plot to murder one of the cartoonists.
A Danish citizen of Moroccan descent and two Tunisians were arrested on Tuesday in western Denmark for planning to murder 73-year-old Kurt Westergaard, a cartoonist at Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper that originally published the drawings in September 2005.
The five newspapers—Jyllands-Posten, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende, BT and Ekstra Bladet—on Wednesday republished Westergaard's cartoon, which depicts the founder of Islam with a bomb in his turban.
It was the cartoon that caused the most controversy when the original drawings sparked outrage among Muslims, most of whom consider any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.
Three Danish embassies were attacked and at least 50 people were killed in rioting in 2006 in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Several young Muslims have since been convicted in Denmark of planning bomb attacks, partly in protest at the cartoons.
An editorial in left-leaning Politiken called the murder plot "shocking and troubling."
"Their plans to kill Kurt Westergaard... are not just an attack on Westergaard but an attack on our democratic culture," The editorial said.
"Regardless of whether Jyllands-Posten at the time used freedom of speech unwisely and with damaging consequences, the paper deserves unconditional solidarity when it is threatened with terror," It said.
"That is why Politiken today... prints the drawing, even though at no time have we sympathized with Jyllands-Posten's provocation."