News24

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.

Comments
  • sceptic - 2011-04-15 14:32

    Funny how the truth offends!!

  • Mr Mc - 2011-04-15 14:45

    Bit presumptous of these "prosecutors" to assume jurisdiction. They should concerntrate on their own back yard - with reference to their persecution of other religions

  • Riaz - 2011-04-15 15:12

    I am a muslim and in my religion one starts a conversation and end it by bidding peace upon the other, the reason for this is that if anything that was said in the course of the conversation is forgiven and this strenghtens the brotherhood, and how do others greet, HELLO WHAT DOE IT MEAN HELL O!!!, ANY WAY I RESPECT FREEDOM OF SPEACH IN ALL FORMS, ONE SHOULD NOT BE IGNORANT OF THE RELEGION OF OTHERS, WHAT MAY SEEM ODD TO YOU HAS MEANING FOR THOSE PEOPLE, AND VICE VERSA, IF THE PERSON LOOKS LIKE A CLOWN WEARING A DRESS THEN SO BE IT, NOBODY STOPS YOU FROM PUTTING ON WHAT YOU DESIRE,THIS DRESS HAS MEANING FOR THE PERSON WEARING IT, JUST LIKE THE POPE AND OTHER CHRISTIAN PRIESTS WHO ALSO WEAR LONG DRESS LIKE GARMENTS, DO NOT BE IGNORANT, ASK A QUESTION AND BE ENLIGHTENED, IF ONE RAISES THE DEFENCE OF FREEDOM OF SPEACH WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST THEN HE IS SHOT DOWN BECAUSE THIS IS ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL. WHY IS THAT?SURE PEOPLE SUFFERED AND SOME DIED,BUT THEY DID RISE UP AGAIN, WHEN ONE SPEAKS ABOUT HIROSHIMA WHERE MILLIONS DIED AND TILL TODAY STILL SUFFER THERE IS NO OUTCRY. WHY? SO EDUCATE YOURSELF!!! IN MY RELEGION JESUS (ESU(PEACE BE UPON HIM) IN HEBREW) IS HELD IN SUCH HIGH STATUS THAT IF WE DONT BELEIVE IN HIM THAN WE CAN NOT CALL OURSELVES MUSLIM,NO MUSLIM WILL SPEAK ILL OF HIM IF HE DOES HE IS NOT MUSLIM ANYMORE, THE QURAAN BY THE WAY HAS A CHAPTER CALLED "MARY" OR "MARIAM" PEACE BE UPON HER, READ AND ONCE AGAIN GAIN KNOWLEDGE!!!

      Licikityspit - 2011-04-15 15:48

      XXian Sure if you look in the bible you find many such references in it along with many describing Jesus riding his donkey. Also bare in mind moslems do not pray to any type of portrait figure (ie jesus crucufied on the cross)they do not even have it their mosques. So for anybody to simply draw a picture depicting the prophet is Blasphemy as it is what us moslems believe. As for a religious wars well my Christian brothers also started many of those (the Crusades should ring a bell)The danish also took it one step further by burning Quraans!

      Jaimo - 2011-04-15 21:23

      You guys are completely deceived! Your so called 'jesus' in Islam is NOT the LORD JESUS CHRIST who rose from the dead! but 'Issa'. Your so called 'mary' in Islam is not the mother of JESUS CHRIST but the pagan godess Isis/Semiramis/Madonna/Oestate(Easter)! You guys are so deceived you believe that committing murder (suicide bombing) will usher the martyr to paradise - - What a lie! -when they find themselves in HELLS FLAMES FOREVER! Catch a wake up!

  • Ebrahim - 2011-04-15 15:32

    Reading all the posts here, I wonder why was their an outcry when our president Zuma said " the ANC will rule till Jesus comes back" take in your stride as a joke. P.S I also didnt like the presidents comment

  • Nazeem - 2011-04-15 16:11

    i feel sorry for all you ppl who blab blab out of ignorance

  • Shaheen Orrie - 2011-04-15 17:04

    Muslims are more closer to Jesus than you and your christian people will ever be mr "vandermerwe.martin".If you look at all the pictures and paintings of Jesus, I've never seen Jesus in a 2 piece suit. Have you ever seen a picture of Mary without a scarf on her head? As Muslims we try and copy everything the prophets did even the way they dressed, walked,talked and mimic all their good deeds by praying and worshiping one God. That is how much we love our prophets (Peace be upon all of them). Imagine someone started drawing ugly pictures of someone you loved with all your heart and soul but had left this world before you could even blink an eye. oh, I know what you would say..."it's only a joke! What's all the fuss" Why repsect the dead when they're dead right? I hope you take back what you said and start being good Christian. Remember, God is watching you!

  • jweer42 - 2011-04-15 17:59

    As far as I know ... Allah was originally a moon god (hence the crecent moon) in the Arabian Pantheon of pagan gods. He also had daughters (el-Lat, el-Uzza, and Manat) if I'm not mistaken, thus he can't be God mentioned and known thousands of years before Mohamed came along. Did Mohamed just one day decided that Allah is actually God mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures?

      Riaz - 2011-04-15 18:46

      http://www.muslim.org/islam/allah.htm, FOLLOW THIS LINK HOPE IT SHEDS SOM LIGHT, JESUS (ESU PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON HIM) SAID ON THE CROSS IN HEBREW "ELAHI ELAHI WA MA SABAK TA KUM" OH GOD OH GOD WHY HAS THY FORSAKEN ME, UPON WHICH GOD TOOK HIM UP TO THE FIRST HEAVEN, ANYWAY ISLAM IS NOT A NEW RELEGION BUT ONE THAT CAME TO REFORM AND BRING PEOPLE BACK TO THE STRAIGHT PARTH FROM WHICH THEY STRAYED, "ESU PEACE AND BLESSING BE UPON HIM WAS A GREAT PROPHET, AND MOHAMMED PEACE AND BLESSING BE UPON HIM WAS THA LAST OF THE PROPHETS THAT CAME TO ENLIGHTEN US..THE VERSES OF THE QURAAN ARE AND HAS NEVER CHANGED WHICH IN ITSELF IS A MIRACLE, YOU HAVE PROBABLY HEARD OF THE METHOD OF PASSING INFO VIA WORD OF MOUTH, THE MESSAGE IS NEVER IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WHEN YOU HEAR IT FROM THE LAST PERSON...

      jake somber - 2011-04-15 22:21

      ... and this comes from the expert that came 600 years after Christ. I've heard of word of mouth ... and that is exactly what the Hebrews did not do. When Hebrew scholars copied the scriptures, they used maths by interchanging the letters with numbers. They added these with every sentence and compared the sum of both original and copy. If the result varies, they know a copy error was made. If it happens more that three times they discard the whole copy and start over. So what is written in the scriptures before Mohamed came along is completely accurate over time where as the dots in Arabic writing (making the vowels and makes the word depending on where it is placed) has been copied wrongly now and again over time by placing the dot at the wrong location, change the meaning of the word altogether. Hence the case of the 8th century maniscrpt found in an Iranian mosque during renovations, not too lang ago, when compared to parts of the quran today it reads totally different a lot of the time. Thus I believe the eye witness accounts as recorded in the Gospels rather than Mohamed's take on the same event 600 years after the fact.

      meelo - 2011-04-15 22:57

      your intelligence isnt to far as i know, stop saying what you may know and go to the source, Gosh you should be arrested for youri gnorance

  • Riaz - 2011-04-15 18:28

    XXian, ITS GOOD TO KNOW THAT YOU READ SOMETHING AND GOT THE MESSAGE!! AFTER A FEW SECONDS,THESE VERSES WERE REVEALED AT A TIME WHEN THERE WERE MANY BATTLES TAKING PLACE IN ARABIA, THE NON BELEIVERS, IDOL WORSHIPPERS WERE STUCK IN THEIR WAYS AND DID NOT WANT TO WORSHIP ONE GOD AS WAS BEING PREACHED, SO THEY DECIDED TO GO TO BATTLE. BEFORE I GO FURTHER ALL RELEGIONS FACED PERSECUTION FROM NON BELEIVERS, EVEN JESUS (ESU PEACE BE UPON HIM) WAS PERSECUTED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE, AND THEY STILL DENY HIM TODAY, GOD SAYS IN THE BIBLE "AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH" THIS IS JUST ONE SMALL VERSE, ITS OPEN TO BE NARROW INTERPRETATION OR BROAD ANYONES CHOICE, IF NOBODY FOUGHT TO PROTECT THEIR BELEIFS WHAT WOULD BE THEIR REWARD..... THEREFORE ITS CALLED "BELEIF" SOMETHING OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE, AND IS PROTECTED BY OUR CONSTITUTION..."LET HE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE".... RESPECT ONE ANOTHER

  • barry.mcbride - 2011-04-15 18:56

    Other religions are essentially about humans pursuing God (or gods), whereas Christianity is about God pursuing us.

      Matt - 2011-04-15 19:17

      Correction, all religions are either about politics (ask "Saint" Constantine) or about providing simple, ignorant answers to very complicated questions. To be religious is to prevent yourself from fully understanding your humanity...

  • meelo - 2011-04-15 22:59

    skeptics heart is like a rock nothing offends even this. A walking corpse.

  • LuxOcculta - 2011-04-16 00:33

    @ Riaz - Look to the left of your keyboard - see the Caps Lock key? Use it. Second, there is a wonderful internet site called Google. You may wish to occasionally use it instead of sucking nonsense - "The Old English verb, h?lan (1. wv/t1b 1 to heal, cure, save; greet, salute; geh?l! Hosanna!), may be the ultimate origin of the word.[18] H?lan is likely a cognate of German Heil and other similar words of Germanic origin. Bill Bryson asserts in his book Mother Tongue that "hello" comes from Old English hál béo þu ("Hale be thou", or "whole be thou", meaning a wish for good health)." Thirdly, debating religion is a pointless exercise - my imaginary friend cannot be any better than your imaginary friend...

      Riaz - 2011-04-16 12:30

      LuxOcculta... IT DOES NOT MATTER IF CAPS LOCK IS ON OR OFF AS LONG AS ITS UNDERSTANDABLE, FORGIVE MY SPELLING AS WELL, SO IF YOU KNOW THE ORIGINS OF THE PRESENTLY USED WORD "HELLO" WHY NOT USE THE ORIGINAL FORM, DONT YOU THINK BY CHANGING THE WORD ITSELF ONE CHANGES THE MEANING? OR IS IT JUST HUMAN NATURE FOR US TO SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING.. THE ARABIC TEXT DID NOT CONTAIN ANY DOTS, THIS WAS DONE TO TEACH PEOPLE TO READ THE TEXT,SINCE THE TIME THE QURAAN WAS REVEALED, THE VERSES WERE MEMORISED, THE ARABIC AND HEBREW LANGUAGES ARE ALSO SIMILAR IN MANY RESPECTS.. SO ONE NEEDS TO REALLY RESEARCH THIS AND NOT JUST GOOGLE IT, THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE WHO WANT TO FABRICATE HISTORY... THANKS FOR THE INFO , AND EXCUSE MY NONSENCE AND MY Caps lock ...

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