Drawn Out: Danish Caricaturist of Muhammad Fame Now Homeless
Two years ago Kurt Westergaard was in his Copenhagen home drawing pictures. One of them was of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. Now Westergaard is homeless.
Protesters took to the streets again on Wednesday to protest the reprinting of Muhammad cartoons.
PET had been gathering information about the plot for several months, leading to a Feb. 12 raid carried out in the western Danish city of Aarhus. Five suspects -- "people with a Muslim background," with both Danish and foreign citizenship -- were taken into custody. The Associated Press quoted PET as stating that the raids were intended "to prevent a terror-related murder…[and to do so] at an early phase to stop the planning."
In response to last week's arrest, a number of Danish newspapers republished the original cartoons the following day. Among those reprinted, of course, was Westergaard's caricature: Muhammad with a lit bomb in his turban. "We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case," the Copenhagen paper Berlingske Tidende wrote, "and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper will always defend."
Westergaard, however, has transformed fear for his life into anger at the entire situation. "Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me," he said in a statement printed in Jyllands-Posten. "But I have turned my fear into anger and indignation."
The newspaper's editor, Flemming Rose, also the subject of death threats, told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a recent interview that, regardless of events, he does not fear for his life and that he will continue to speak out.
With reporting by Anna Reimann
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