Friday, 26 February 2010

Danish newspaper provokes uproar with apology over Muhammad cartoon

A leading Danish newspaper was today accused of betraying the freedom of the press after breaking ranks with its rivals to offer an apology to Muslims for publishing a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban.

Politiken issued the apology after settling with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups that complained after the cartoon was reprinted by 11 Danish papers in solidarity with the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who received death threats last year.

Outrage at the move was led by Denmark’s Prime Minister and by Mr Westergaard, 74, who survived an alleged assassination attempt by an Islamic axeman at his home last month.

Politiken responded that it was apologising for the offence caused, not the decision to publish, in an attempt to reduce tensions with the Muslim world.

Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the Prime Minister, expressed surprise at Politiken's move, saying he was worried that the Danish media were no longer “standing shoulder to shoulder” on the issue. Read more
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