Merkel to honor Mohammed cartoonist at press award


Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who sparked anger in the Muslim world with his caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, arrives for a news conference before the awarding ceremony of the M100 media prize 2010 in Potsdam, September 8, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele/Pool

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who sparked anger in the Muslim world with his caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, arrives for a news conference before the awarding ceremony of the M100 media prize 2010 in Potsdam, September 8, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Johannes Eisele/Pool

By Stephen Brown and Knut Engelmann

BERLIN | Wed Sep 8, 2010 3:39pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel risked angering Muslims by speaking at an awards ceremony on Wednesday for a Dane whose cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed provoked sometimes violent protests by Muslims five years ago.

The 75-year-old cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose drawings of Mohammed that offended Muslims worldwide first appeared in Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, was due to receive a prize Wednesday evening at a conference on freedom of the press.

At a time of fierce debate in Germany over disparaging remarks about Muslim immigrants made by a central bank member, some Muslims criticized the center-right chancellor and the media said she was taking a risk by honoring a man whom many Muslims believe insulted their faith. Continue Reading →

Finnish TV does show on Cartoons and Muslims. Interesting half hour.

Here is a 27 minute Finnish TV documentary where the reporter interviews the main imam of Finland about what offends Muslims about drawings and why, and she also takes his explanation to three cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, who drew the famous bomb-turban Mohamed drawing, and Lars Vilks of Mohamed roundabout dog-Mohamed drawing fame.

She then asks them to do a drawing as an answer to the imam and takes it back to him for his comment. He does what Muslims always do. Demand that Islamic rules be followed by all in the name of tolerance etc.

South Park creators truly worthy of respect.

Kurt Westergaard in my view is a hero. Not because he drew the Moetoon, that was his job and he had no clue what was to happen as a result. But because he wears the mantle of free speech martyr with great dignity and courage every day. I have met Kurt Westergaard and my impression of him, is of an unusually decent man who admires the arts and good things civilization offers and would like to live his life in pretty much any way other than he does as a  result of the Islamic worlds irrational and dare I say, somewhat arbitrary rage at his drawings.

Mr. Westergaard did not attempt to placate Islam or its adherents. He stoically spoke out in countless interviews and in many countries on the importance of free speech. He continues to live under very difficult conditions when, like Salman Rushdie, perhaps he could have kowtowed to Islam and won a sort of freedom at the expense of his principles.

This makes him a hero in that his actions led to hard choices and he made the best one for all of us, yet the most difficult for himself.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone however knew exactly what they where getting into when they did the 200th episode-anniversary show a chunk of which is below.

As you can see, Matt Stone and Trey Parker ask some perhaps less than obvious but very important questions. If it is forbidden to show an image of Mohamed, then what constitutes an image? Is a line with a circle on top OK? What about if it is a drawing within a drawing like we draw a big bear and say it is a costume within which, is a drawing of Mohamed. In the interview below, both these men quite clearly explain that one must not change principles because one group threatens you. Either it is OK to criticize irrational religious belief, or it is not. And this makes them heroes in my book.

Lastly, here is the all too predictable Muslim Outrage video over even the non-showing of Mohamed in the South Park episode. It is the usual crap but is clearly a threat on the lives of the creators of South park. Skip it if you want.

One last thing that really needs saying, South Park did an episode before the Danish Cartoon where they actually did show Mohamed as the religious leader with the power of flame. There was no reaction to it at all even though that episode probably reached thousands of times more people than the Danish cartoons ever would have, had it not been for the reaction to them.

This shows you that this has nothing to do with religious sensitivities, but to a growing political threat by Islam to the west. That Muslims are to set the agenda for what is OK for us to say, do, eat and think and how we live and not ourselves. Not that this changes anything. If it was about religious sacred imagery I would still say and do still say that the most important right civilization has, is to mock irrational religious authority. However this isn’t the real issue here. It is about control. History from the Super Best Friends episode of South park, to the Danish cartoons episode, to now prove that out.

Eeyore for Vlad Tepes Blog with a huge hat tip and thanks to the stalwart Diana West.

*****   Addendum *****

It would appear that youtube removed the video threatening the lives of the men who created South park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I understand completely why they did it. Youtube AKA Google cannot let itself be seen as the vector for death threats. Even so, while sympathetic, I think its equally important that we, the rest of us, be able to expose the mentality in the interest of eradicating it. So you will have to be satisfied with a description as to what was on the video. basically, some opening graphix to show they do quality video work, then on to the usual jihadi ‘we want to kill you all’ music which is the only allowable kind in Islam save for the piercing shrill nauseating call to prayer from the minarets that Obama likes so much.

Then, it goes on to show stills of the people who have been killed by various Muslims for doing things Muslims don’t like and the faces of people they want to kill, which now contain the faces of the ‘Toon twins’.

It wasn’t great viewing. But it was there.

***** Addendum two *****

Here is a great video about this whole issue. featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali H/T Liberties Alliance

95,000 descendants of Mohammed to sue free press for blasphemy


95,000 descendants of Mohammed to sue over

‘blasphemous’ cartoons

By Staff writer, March 21, 2010
Angry Muslim protesters march on the Danish embassy in London in 2006 over newspaper cartoons of Mohammed / The Daily Telegraph

  • Lawyer to sue Danish newspapers for libel
  • Cartoons “a slur on descendants”
  • One paper has already apologised

NEARLY 95,000 descendants of Mohammed are going to sue 10 newspapers for publishing “blasphemous” cartoons of the prophet.

Faisal Yamani, a Saudi lawyer acting for the descendants, claims that the cartoons – which first appeared in 2005 and caused violent protests by Muslims around the world – are defamatory.

One of the 12 cartoons depicts Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

The Sunday Times said that although the cartoons were published by Danish newspapers, Mr Yamani plans to pursue legal action in England, where libel laws are weighted towards the plaintiff.
Kurt Westergaard
Artist Kurt Westergaard, whose life has been in danger ever since he drew a cartoon of a bearded, Mohammed-like man with a bomb in his turban / AFP

English lawyers expect that he will argue that the cartoons were published in Britain via the internet and are a direct slur on his clients, who live in the Middle East, north Africa and even Australia.

Mark Stephens, a British lawyer who saw Mr Yamani’s missive to the newspapers, told The Sunday Times: “Direct descendants of the prophet have a particular place within Muslim society … By effectively criticising and making fun of the prophet you are, by implication, holding them up to scandal, contempt and public ridicule.

“The question is, is that defamatory in English law?”

He said that although many judges would dismiss such a case, “it is obviously a very highly charged issue and if they do throw it out, it becomes political”.

Mr Yamani has already won an apology from the Danish newspaper Politiken for printing the cartoons.

The cartoons first appeared in Jyllands-Posten as part of its campaign to promote freedom of expression.

However, the paper’s offices have been evacuated several times after security threats and the artist behind the bomb cartoon, Kurt Westergaard, was forced to go into hiding. In January this year a man was shot trying to get into his home.

Kurt Wesetrgaard speaks on appeasement and self censorship

Kurt gives an unusually good interview here on his concerns especially since he was attacked by a Somali with an axe not long ago.

Transcript of interview below:

Thanks again to Valdemar Blonde for the translation:

Transcripts of Danish Kurt W

Continue Reading →

Danish newspaper apologises in Muhammad cartoons row


Politiken widely condemned for agreeing to publish apology in return for Muslim organisations dropping legal action

 A Danish newspaper apologised today to eight Muslim organisations for the offence it caused by reprinting controversial cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, in exchange for their dropping legal action against the newspaper.

Politiken reached a settlement with the groups, which represent 94,923 of Muhammad’s descendants, in which it agreed to print an apology for the affront the cartoons caused. The newspaper has not given up its right to publish the cartoons and has not apologised for having printed them as part of its news coverage.

In a joint statement, the two sides said they wanted to “express their satisfaction with this amicable understanding and settlement, and express the hope that it may in some degree contribute to defusing the present tense situation”.

The decision to issue an apology for the offence caused has been met, however, by widespread condemnation from the Danish media and political parties.

The editor of Jyllands-Posten, which originally printed the cartoons in 2005 and is published by the same media company as Politiken, said that its sister paper had failed in the fight for freedom of speech and called it a “sad day” for the Danish press. Continue Reading →

17 year old Danish girl shows more cajones than most of Europe

One young Dane realizing that no Danish newspaper will print anything Kurt Westergaard has done, made a youtube video homage to the 70 year old cartoonist to show solidarity with his cause. Is this brilliant song writing or performing? not the point. What is the point comes near the end of this cute and fun little video where she says:

“Terrorism? who cares it happens without his drawings”

Nikki you are a brave girl. I hope Denmark and indeed all of Europe shows the kind of moral courage you do. Maybe someone needs to translate this into Dutch so those people can remember that the story of the little boy with his finger in the dyke means more than pleasing lesbians.

H/T Lars hedigaarrd. After some careful thought, I agree with you. This should be spread far and wide.

To see an interview with this young Dane, please click here. That is a machine translation from the original Danish.

BBC interview with Kurt Westergaard

Thanks KitmanTV
To be honest, I don’t get Kurt on this one at all. He wants to thank the guy who attempted and nearly succeeded in butchering his grandchild with an axe for not harming his grandchild? I think those thanks should be reserved for the Danish security services who shot the mofo who attempted to kill them both.

Brush Up Your Sharia (Apologies to Cole Porter)

From Diana

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:08 AM 

Tragically, but darkly comically also, this counts as news: The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten printed Kurt Westergaard’s Motoon yesterday along with five other 12 Danish Motoons. As the Telegraph recaps (without running the cartoon as an illustration):

On Jan 2, an axe-wielding 28-year-old man broke into Westergaard’s home screaming for “revenge” and “blood”. Police – alerted by the cartoonist who had hidden in a panic room – shot and arrested him.

Aftenposten’s editor, Hilde Haugsgjerd, said it seemed “natural and justified to republish the artistic and journalistic body of work that is likely the cause of this violence”.

Aftenposten first published copies of the cartoons in 2005 …

Natural and justified, to be sure. But rare as a hot cross bun in Mecca. If you take a look at the Google News queue on the story here, you will see hundreds of stories reporting that Aftenposten published the cartoon, but no further illustrations of the cartoon itself, at least not that I could find. Instead, you will see photos like this generic shot of the Norwegian paper:

or photos like this one of Kurt with some of his non-Mohammed cartoons:

Here is a shot from Aftenposten:

Kurt’s Mohammed is the little head on right on the broadsheet above.

When I posted on January 2 about the near-miss assassination attempt by a Somali Muslim with Danish residency on Kurt’s life, I wrote:

News reports tells us Kurt is safe.

Safe. Kurt isn’t safe. Nor will he be, nor any of us be, “safe” until Islamic law is stopped in the West, its deeply advanced tentacles eradicated. Because don’t think it isn’t here. Sharia is here and in force.

To measure the extent, just watch the “free press” cover Kurt’s latest (and closest) brush with sharia-sanctioned death, and count how many times that coverage is accompanied by a picture of Kurt’s cartoon. Any media outlet that runs the cartoon is not under Islamic law. Any media outlet that doesn’t is under Islamic law.

Bully for Aftenposten and everything, but the cartoon tally to date reveals the extent to which Islamic law continues to be observed to the letter in the “free” press of the West.

Few seem to understand the Westergaard story in these crucially important legal terms. In a recent FT column, Christopher Caldwell ponders the Westergaard attack, calling it “an act of political violence.”

The aim, as best we can tell, was not to take Mr Westergaard’s money but to enforce “justice” in a way that would alter society’s rules and people’s behaviour.

As best we can tell“? (“Blood,” “Revenge,” the jihadist yelled as he chopped at Kurt’s reinforced steel door with an axe ….) No matter. At this point, with Caldwell noting the attack’s purpose to “alter society’s rules and people’s behavior,” it sounds as if he is about to discuss Islamic law (sharia) from which the “justice” of killing Kurt for cartooning Islam’s prophet is derived.

But no.

He goes on:

A state’s authority rests, as Max Weber said, on a monopoly of violence. In matters of free speech about religion in Denmark, the government monopoly on violence has been broken. There is another player in the market, declaring that cartoons perceived as anti-Islamic are punishable by death.

And that player is named … Islam? Sharia?

But no again. Mid-paragraph, Caldwell changes course:

A pattern of political violence against ordinary citizens is something western Europe has not experienced in more than half a century. Some people describe radical Islam as a kind of totalitarianism, or “Islamofascism”. That is an oversimplification.

“Radical” Islam is just padding, while “Islamofascism” is a senseless word, but “totalitarianism” is absolutely dead right and let me count the ways beginning with the words of G.H. Bosquet, one of the 20th century’s leading scholars of Islamic law, who described Islam as being “doubly totalitarian.” This is no oversimplification, it’s just simple. Islam is simple. It’s just our elites that are … complicated. So why does Caldwell tangle himself up?

Even if he had contact with al-Qaeda, Mr Westergaard’s would-be assassin was probably working as an individual.

Does the assailant own a Koran? Is he a soldier of Allah? Was he carrying out jihad? Then this Islamic axe-murderer (attempted) deserves his official al Qaeda membership card and jihadi secret decoder ring. Whether he had them, though, his actions served to advance jihad terror and, as we see, further entrenched submission to Islamic law in what was once known as Christendom. Caldwell continues:

But this power to intimidate, though informal, is potentially decisive. It is the same power exercised by those who threaten journalists in Russia, those who kill policemen in Mexico, or the Ku Klux Klan in the US south of a century ago. Such acts make law.

Wow. A few paragraphs ago it almost looked as if Caldwell were going to inform his readers about the traditional, mainstream, centuries-old Islamic laws that sanction, indeed, demand the Islamic faithful to kill the likes of Westergaard. Now Caldwell tells them the furor is all generic, a matter of the “power to intimidate,” a la drug cartels or the KKK, through “acts” that “make law” along the way.

I suggest that he and everyone else brush up on their sharia. This esteemed Islamic legal source, Reliance of the Traveller, is  widely available.

Of course, at this rate, soon every home will have one.

Caldwell never gets more specific than discussing “a real taboo, backed by violence.” This, he says, is a “terrible problem.” Namely:

If a country cannot stop the violence directly, then the public will demand that it stop the violence indirectly, by thwarting the cause the violence serves. The rise of Geert Wilders’s party in the Netherlands, the referendum to ban minarets in Switzerland, the proposed burka ban in France – these are all desperate measures to declare that Islam is not the first religion of Europe.

“Desparate” measures?

I call them signs of life.

Aftenposten republishes Mo’toons

From The Telegraph U.K.

Norwegian newspaper reprints Prophet Mohammed cartoons

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has reproduced the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Published: 5:11PM GMT 08 Jan 2010

They were used to illustrate an article about Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist whose home was broken into by an Islamist armed with an axe a week ago.

It printed six out of the 12 drawings that infuriated Muslims around the world when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten first published them in 2005.

Several of the drawings were seen as linking Islam and its revered prophet to terrorism and suicide bombings, with Westergaard’s cartoon showing him wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb.

On Jan 2, an axe-wielding 28-year-old man broke into Westergaard’s home screaming for “revenge” and “blood”. Police – alerted by the cartoonist who had hidden in a panic room – shot and arrested him.

Aftenposten’s editor, Hilde Haugsgjerd, said it seemed “natural and justified to republish the artistic and journalistic body of work that is likely the cause of this violence”.

Aftenposten first published copies of the cartoons in 2005 but did not join newspapers in many other countries when they reprinted in 2006 some or all of them, citing freedom of expression.

Angry crowds demonstrated across the Muslim world, leaving dozens of people dead in riots and causing damage to Danish embassies and the country’s export trade due to boycotts.

Some Muslim threatens a Swedish cartoonist.

H/T Snaphanen Somali threats against Swedish illustrator

Somali threats against Swedish illustrator

Published: 4 Jan 10 16:21 CET

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who sparked outrage with caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog, has received threats via telephone from Somalia.

Police in Helsingborg in southern Sweden are taking seriously the threats made against Vilks, which come just three days after Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was subjected to an axe attack at his home in Denmark.

The first of two phone calls to Vilks came on Monday morning. A subsequent check by the Swedish artist revealed that the call originated in Somalia, where the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab has gained increasing influence in the war torn country.

Al-Shabaab is also believed to have ties to al-Qaeda.

In the last month, al-Shabaab supporters who reportedly used to live in Denmark have killed at least 22 people, including three ministers, in a suicide bomb attack carried out in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

According to Vilks, the man who threatened him spoke Swedish.

“The man, who spoke accented Swedish, asked me if I knew about what happened in Denmark and to the artist Kurt Westergaard. I said I certainly did,” Vilks told the Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper.

“The man then explained that they were out after more and that they would soon come for me. I told them they were welcome,” said Vilks.

According to Patrik Peter, a spokesman for Swedish security service Säpo, the incident is being investigated by local police.

“It may be that the police will ask for our help in which case we’ll obviously do what we can,” Peter told the TT news agency.

The Helsingborg police have refused to comment on the incident.

“I have no comment whatsoever on how our investigation of the threat is being carried out,” police spokesperson Göran Hassel told TT.

Westergaard was one of the Danish artists who drew cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad for Denmark’s Jyllandsposten newspaper. Westergaard’s drawing portrayed Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

TT/The Local ( 656 6518)

Two clips to end the night. Kurt and Adolph.

First, CTV, a large Canadian television network did a nice little segment about the attempt on Kurt Westergaard’s life. I added a bit to the start and end to drive a certain point home. Enjoy:

Lastly, here is one of my favorite clips of all time showing the absolute importance of ridicule in the face of tyranny. It is one of the most important weapons we have and when we do not use it, we create opportunity for fascists to make it illegal, and then that space for ridicule no longer exists, the space being what exists in between what is polite and what is possible. Granted, the clip below would have been much better had it been made before the war, or even during, but it is still an excellent example of a weapon against tyranny. Islam has shown us over and over again that it cannot defend its ideas with reason. That any questioning of it, or ridicule or expression that challenges its primacy it cannot tolerate. This means we all know what to do. If indeed, as it would appear, that Islam and it’s horror is that fragile, then we all need to create a cacophony of ridicule, questions and challenges at every intellectual level. This problem exists because we afford Islam a respect it has not earned and does not deserve. Make yourself a funny T shirt of Mohamed, or buy one from me. Do your own cartoon. Make sure that Kurt Westergaard is simply one in hundreds of millions of us that will not be intimidated into accepting horror over reason.
Eeyore for Vlad.

Diana West: Kurt Westergaard cannot stop sharia alone

When Kurt Westergaard came to the United States for a speaking tour on September 30, the fourth anniversary of the publication in Jyllands Posten of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, a number of reporters contacted me for information because Kurt’s trip was sponsored by the International Free Press Society. (Related stories here.)

Boiler plate, stuff, mainly — where’s he going, to whom is he speaking, a few basics about free speech. But I had a question for these reporters, too. Will you run the Westergaard Mohammed? Will you print the cartoon Kurt Westergaard drew, all in a day’s work, when Jyllands Posten editor Flemming Rose asked him for a Mohammed cartoon as part of a newspaper feature showcasing 12  Mohammed cartoons from 12 Danish artists commissioned to demonstrate that Denmark, free Denmark, was not under, beholden or intimidated by Islamic law?

First response from the ladies and gennemen of the Fourth Estate: nervous laughter.

Then: Oh, I’ll have to ask my editor about that….

Surprise, surprise, the Westergaard cartoon didn’t see media light of day during Kurt’s entire trip. American media disgraced themselves by covering Westergaard, his cartoon, the threats to his life, the barbarous Islamic reaction from the highest reaches of the Islamic diplomatic world to the Islamic street protests that resulted in loss of life, Kurt’s principles, free speech — all without ever showing readers and viewers the cartoon itself. (One exception — the Chicago Sun Times, which ran a photo of Kurt holding a laptop displaying the cartoon.)

Kurt Westergaard, 75, was almost murdered last night by an axe- knife- or hammer-wielding 27-year-old Muslim from Somalia who broke into his home. Kurt managed to get to his safe room and police arrived very quickly, shooting the would-be assassin in the course of a struggle.  News reports tells us Kurt is safe.

Safe. Kurt isn’t safe. Nor will he be, nor any of us be, “safe” until Islamic law is stopped in the West, its deeply advanced tentacles eradicated. Because don’t think it isn’t here. Sharia is here and in force.

To measure the extent, just watch the “free press” cover Kurt’s latest (and closest) brush with sharia-sanctioned death, and count how many times that coverage is accompanied by a picture of Kurt’s cartoon. Any media outlet that runs the cartoon is not under Islamic law. Any media outlet that doesn’t is under Islamic law.

One old Dane, however courageous, however strong, can’t stop sharia alone.