Why Are The Muhammad Cartoons Continuing to Incite Violence?

Posted Posted in Muhammad Caricatures
Mohammed Cartoon Bomb Muhammad Cartoon Danish Terror Plot Suspects Planned to Slit Journalists Throats Police Wiretaps Reveal

It is not because of traditional Islamic doctrines, so it seems.

More than five years after Danish artist Kurt Westergaard published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, lives continue to be lost and—if we are to believe the police and intelligence agencies of dozens of countries—assassinations are still being attempted and plotted because Muslims have been angered by the display of such images. In December, a suicide bomber inspired by other insulting drawings of Muhammad attacked a busy shopping street in Stockholm; on Friday, a court in Copenhagen sentenced a Somali man to nine years in prison for attempting to kill Westergaard.

Traditional Islamic doctrine offers little explanation for this violent response. There is no explicit ban on figurative art in the Quran, and representations of Muhammad, though absent from public spaces, appear in illuminated manuscripts up until the seventeenth century; they still feature in the popular iconography of Shiism, where antipathy to pictures of the Prophet is much less prevalent. There are numerous such depictions—faceless or veiled as an indication of his holiness, or even depicted with facial features—in manuscript collections. It is only quite recently that Muslims living in the west have begun lodging objections to the reproduction of these images in books. The objections are by no means confined to a militant fringe. Populist sentiment—fuelled by the Salafist or “fundamentalist” trends emanating from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, has produced a near consensus among a majority of Muslims that representations of the Prophet and other holy figures are forbidden by Islam.

All the more puzzling, the recent iconophobia in popular Islam has largely ignored the spread of such images on the Web. Indeed, all the images that have been cited in the cartoons controversy are readily accessible online, including Westergaard’s notorious cartoon published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten depicting Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, and a more recent one by Swedish artist Lars Vilks showing him as a dog, modeled on the canine sculptures that since 2006 have been installed on Swedish traffic circles.

What has been missed in the recent upheaval is that Muslim piety and Muslim militancy have been at odds. Salafists yearning for a return to the “pure Islam” of the Prophet’s era are not necessarily the same as those seeking holy war against western influences, though there may be some overlap between the two. The pious Salafist response is exemplified by Abdul Haqq Baker, imam of the Brixton Mosque in London, who says that believers should avert their gaze from blasphemous images and desist from showing them around. The militants or jihadists have taken the opposite view, using the web to publicize the images while making threats against artists and publishers who dare to display them in a public gallery or on a printed page.

A question I have is why the New York Times (and a majority of American newspapers), where the above piece appears, has refused to print the Muhammad Cartoons.

Read the entire piece – it is a good historical summary of the Muhammad Cartoon FLAP.

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Mohammedcartoons Muhammad Cartoons Mumbai Style Terror Plot Foiled by Danish Intelligence

Mohamed Geele Who Attacked Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison and Deportation

Posted Posted in Kurt Westergaard, Muhammad Caricatures

News report on the sentencing of Mohamed Geele who was convicted of attempted murder of Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

Mohamed Geele who was convicted on attempted murder of Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was sentenced today to nine years in prison.
The man who broke into Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s home on New Year’s Day last year has been sentenced to nine years in prison for attempting to commit an act of terrorism. The 29-year-old Somalian, Mohamed Geele will also be deported after his sentence.

Today’s sentence was handed down by the Aarhus Municipal Court after a unanimous jury found Geele guilty yesterday. In addition to the terrorism charge, he was also found guilty of attempted murder against Westergaard, whose drawing of Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban was one of 12 depictions of the prophet published in 2005 by Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Geele, who was armed with an axe and a knife during the attack, had also been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer during the attack but was convicted of the lesser charge of aggravated assault.

Geele has appealed the decision to the Western High Court. His attorney, Niels Christian Strauss, said he disagreed with the court’s decision that breaking into Westergaard’s home and attempting to kill him constituted terrorism because it was meant to scare the public and destabilise society.

Strauss argued that an attack on an individual did not meet the definition of terrorism.

Mohamed Geele will also be banned from Denmark for life.

The court in the city of Aarhus sentenced Muhudiin Mohamed Geele to be expelled from Denmark and banned from the country for life after serving his sentence, a police official said.

From September 2009 to the time of the attack, the convicted man sought information on the Internet many times about militant Islamic groups’ opinions on the Mohammad drawings and Westergaard, the court said in the statement.

The prosecutor had asked for a 12-year sentence, but the defence lawyer had argued for no more than six years and said he would lodge an appeal, Danish media reported.

He was acquitted of another manslaughter charge, brought because he threw his axe at a police officer who arrived to arrest him, but was convicted of assaulting the officer.

For attempted murder, this is a relatively light sentence. But as long as he has NO chance of parole for nine years and will be deported, he will not be a threat to Westergaard again. However, unfortunatley, Westergaard will have to live in fear while the next Muslim extremist attempts to kill him.

And, over what?

This cartoon:

Mohammed Cartoon Bomb Muhammad Cartoon Danish Terror Plot Suspects Planned to Slit Journalists Throats Police Wiretaps Reveal


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Mohamed Geele Who Attacked Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is Convicted

Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard Calls Attacker Mohamed Geele a “Madman” and a “Cowardly Liar”

Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s Atacker, Mohamed Geele Goes on Trial

Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard to Face His Attacker in Court

The Muhammad Cartoon Archive

Mohamed Geele Who Attacked Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is Convicted

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Kurt Westergaard, Muhammad Caricatures

Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

He was convicted of attempted terrorism and attempted murder.
A court on Thursday convicted a 29-year-old Somali man of attempted terrorism and attempted murder for attacking a Danish cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Mohammed.

The court in the central Danish town of Aarhus ruled that Mohamed Geele not only tried to kill Kurt Westergaard when he broke into his home on January 1, 2010, wielding an axe and a knife, but that the attack also amounted to an act of terrorism.

“The court deems that the attempted murder of Kurt Westergaard in his own home, (of the man who) personifies the Mohammed cartoon affair, must be considered as an attempt to instil a heightened level of fear in the population and to destabilise the structures of society,” which falls under the Danish anti-terrorism law, judge Ingrid Thorsboe told the court.

The verdict was reached by a unanimous jury, she added

Westergaard, 75, had testified during last month’s trial that Geele rushed in screaming “You must die! You are going to Hell!”, forcing the cartoonist to escape “certain death” by rushing into a bathroom-turned-panic-room to call police.

The Somali had threatened police with his axe and knife before being shot twice and placed under arrest.

Geele insisted during the trial he was only trying to scare the cartoonist.

Now, this moron can rot in prison for the rest of his life. He will be sentenced tomorrow.

“I am an old, peaceful man and I am not vindictive but I am very satisfied,” Westergaard told The Associated Press. “I’ve never been in doubt that he was a terrorist who wanted to kill me. He was a holy warrior yelling and shouting as he was hammering the ax on the bathroom door.”

He could face life in prison, although such sentences are generally reduced to 16 years under Danish law. Prosecutors earlier had demanded that the defendant is (be) expelled from Denmark after serving the sentence.

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Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard Calls Attacker Mohamed Geele a “Madman” and a “Cowardly Liar”

Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s Atacker, Mohamed Geele Goes on Trial

Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard to Face His Attacker in Court

The Muhammad Cartoon Archive

Muhammad Cartoon Danish Terror Plot Suspects Planned to Slit Journalists’ Throats Police Wiretaps Reveal

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Jyllands-Posten, Muhammad Caricatures

Offices of the Jyllands-Posten Newspaper which published the Muhammed Cartoons

And, slit as many throats and as quickly as they could.
The goal of the attack was to shoot and kill as many people as possible within 20 minutes, according to recordings made by Danish security service PET and published on Monday in the Ekstra Bladet newspaper, according to Danish news agency Ritzau.

The three men traveled to Denmark during the evening of December 29th. They then met in an apartment on Mörkhöjvej in the Herlev neighbourhood near the Danish capital to discuss how they would attack the Jyllands-Postens newspaper.

In a joint prayer, one of the men said, “When the unfaithful are gathered, tie them up and cut their throats.”

Their goal was to shoot and kill as many as possible in a 20-minute time span. Following the prayer, the left the flat, but were then arrested by police. During a search of the premises, PET found automatic weapons, silencers, and heavy duty tape.

Last Thursday, the court in Glostrup decided that the three men from Sweden arrested in Denmark, Munir Awad, a 29-year-old Swede born in Lebanon, 30-year-old Swede Omar Abdalla Aboelazm and 44-year-old Tunisian national and Swedish resident Mounir Dhahri, should remain in solitary remand.

On Monday, the Attunda District Court north of Stockholm renewed a remand order for Sahbi Zalouti, a 37-year-old a Swedish citizen of Tunisian decent, who was arrested in Stockholm and believed to have been involved in planning the attack.

All four suspects deny involvement in planning any terror activities.

All for publishing the Muhammad Cartoons of which the one below is one.

Three Suspects in Muhammad Cartoons “Mumbai-Style” Terror Plot to Remain in Custody

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Jyllands-Posten, Muhammad Caricatures

20101229jyllandsposten5 Muhammad Cartoons Mumbai Style Terror Plot Foiled by Danish Intelligence

Offices of the Jyllands-Posten Newspaper which published the Muhammed Cartoons

A court in Denmark made the ruling today.

Three men suspected of plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper that published controversial caricatures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed in 2005 are to remain in custody, a court in Denmark ruled Thursday.

The suspects, aged 29, 30 and 44, are to be kept in isolation for a further four weeks, judges in Glostrup, near the Danish capital Copenhagen, ruled.

The three, who live in neighbouring Sweden, were arrested on December 29. At their initial court hearing they denied allegations they were planning to attack the offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, but refused to make any further comment.

A 37-year-old man remains in custody in Sweden on suspicion of being part of the alleged plot, but he has rejected the charges.

Danish and Swedish police said they had cooperated closely in averting the possible attack and had been tracking the suspects for some time.

Stay tuned……

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Muhammad Cartoon Danish Terror Plot Suspects Remanded into Custody

Muhammad Cartoons “Mumbai-Style” Terror Plot Foiled by Danish Intelligence

The Muhammad Cartoon Archive

Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard to Face His Attacker in Court

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Kurt Westergaard, Muhammad Caricatures

Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

You remember the story about the axe-wielding Somali who busted into Westergarrd’s home.
Danish police intelligence said they believed the “attempted assassination … is terror related” and accused the man, who was not named, of having links with Somalia’s al-Shabaab militant group as well as al Qaeda militants.

The cartoonist, 74, pushed a panic button, fled to a safe room and was unhurt when police arrived. His grand-daughter was in the house during the attack. Police could not confirm reports he had tried to break down the safe room door with the axe.

Westergaard, who in 2005 depicted Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban, has been under police protection since his caricatures of the Prophet led to death threats.

The Somali man appeared in court on a stretcher with a hand and leg in plaster casts due to gunshot wounds from a police officer who had narrowly dodged the axe thrown at him by the intruder who was trying to evade arrest, police said.

The accused did not speak in court, but denied the charges through his lawyer.

The Security and Intelligence Service PET, a department of the national police, said in a statement: “It is PET’s impression that the attempted assassination of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is terror related.”

The man, the PET said, “has close relations to the Somali terror organization al-Shabaab and al Qaeda leaders in East Africa, and he is also suspected of having been involved in terror-related activities during his stay in East Africa.”

It also accused him of involvement in a terror-related network with links to Denmark, where he has a residence permit.

Well, this week the 75 year old cartoonist will face the Somali terrorist who attempted to murder him on New Years Day in 2010 – a year ago.

Westergaard and his granddaughter were unharmed.

“I got away. But he’s the real victim, who is likely going to sit behind bars for quite a while and will have enough time to think through what happened,” Westergaard told AP this week about the intruder, a 29-year-old Somali man charged with terrorism and attempted murder.

The defendant, who cannot be named under a court order, denies the charges, his lawyer Niels Christian Straus said. He declined to say what his client was doing at Westergaard’s house, saying he’ll explain it as the trial begins at the city court in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city.

If convicted of terror, the defendant could face life in prison, although such sentences are generally reduced to 16 years under Danish law.

Westergaard’s security was ramped up even further after the break-in. Police temporarily moved him and his wife from their house in Aarhus. He’s now permanently escorted by earpiece-wearing bodyguards from PET, the Danish security service.

They are sure to accompany him to the court hearings, which are expected to draw large crowds. Westergaard is scheduled to testify on Thursday.

He said he was glad that the trial was finally getting started, so he could get on with his life, even though the infamous cartoon will forever be a part of it.

“The drawing will follow me into my retirement home and later to my tomb,” Westergaard said.

Here is the famous drawing: