Danish Mohammed cartoonist snubs trial

2011-04-15 14:04
Copenhagen - Danish artist Kurt Westergaard, known for his controversial caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, said on Friday he had not been informed of a trial against him in Jordan and said he would in any case not attend.

"I have not heard about this trial and have not been informed," the 75-year-old cartoonist said when asked about upcoming court proceedings in Amman.

Zakarya Sheikh, spokesperson for a group of local media outlets that sued Westergaard in 2008 for depicting Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse, said on Thursday the artist and others had been summoned by a magistrates' court in Amman to stand trial on April 25.

A copy of the subpoena obtained by AFP says Westergaard "is accused of the crime of blasphemy" for his drawing, which was one of 12 caricatures of the Muslim prophet first published in a Danish newspaper in September 2005.

"In any case, I have no intention of going even if I am asked to," Westergaard said on Friday, pointing out that "I do not want to risk becoming familiar with the Jordanian prisons, which would be hell."

"I have not done anything illegal in Denmark. I only did my job and I will always defend the right to freedom of expression," he said, reiterating meanwhile that he had "never had the intention to offend Muslims and their faith with my caricature".

Death threats

The drawing, he insisted, was "a condemnation of terrorists who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam".

A Jordanian prosecutor summoned Westergaard for questioning in 2008 after 30 independent newspapers, websites and radio stations in Jordan sued him for his cartoon, which was republished in at least 17 Danish dailies and sparked violent protests in a number of Muslim countries, including the kingdom.

Jordanian MPs have demanded that the government sever ties with Denmark, and Amman has condemned the caricature, warning that it could spark further extremism and harm relations between Denmark and Muslim countries.

Westergaard himself has faced numerous death threats and even assassination attempts since the initial publication of his drawing in the Jyllands-Posten daily, which has also been the target of a number of attack plots.

Read more on:    jordan  |  denmark  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Outwardly you may appear quite confident and extroverted as you try to keep up the hard working and fast pace, but inwardly you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.