Today several Danish newspapers carry pictures of a controversial Mohammed cartoon, depicting the prophet as a suicide bomber, in sympathy with cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Many editors were shocked when a plot to murder Westergaard, for drawing caricatures satirising Mohammed, was unveiled yesterday. Editors at Politiken and Berlingske Tidende - along with Jyllands-Posten who first printed the cartoons in 2005 - pledged to reprint the most famous cartoon today.
'We have to send a clear and unambiguous signal to all who might get the same crazy idea as those who wanted to attack Kurt Westergaard. We have to make clear that in Denmark we don't accept that freedom of speech is locked up by religious zealots or held hostage to religious fanaticism,' Lisbeth Knudsen, editor-in-chief of Berlingske, told Jyllands-Posten (my translation).
The threat of law suit
She said Berlingske would reprint the cartoon as an illustration to a news story. That is much the same use of the cartoon that Ezra Levant, the publisher of Western Standard, was brought in front of the Alberta Human Rights Commission in Canada to defend. Columnist Mark Steyn has also had similar human rights complaints brought against him recently, on the basis of his writing.
In mid-January, The American Spectator published a story on what the writer, Booke M. Goldstein, a practising attorney, thought amounted to nothing less than legal jihad, listing a number of cases where publications had been brought to court or threatened with libel suits for offending or libelling Muslim dignity or dogmas. Among those cases were all the law suits against the now deceased Orianna Fallaci, and the more than 30 publishers and authors Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi-Arabian billionaire, has threatened to sue in British courts.
Since first publishing the Mohammed cartoons, Jyllands-Posten have fought off several law suits from various Muslim organisations