Condemning the Attack on Danish Cartoonist

Harsh reactions to an attempt on a controversial Muhammed cartoon author's life

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Commentators are reacting harshly to news of an attack on famous Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose work ignited the 2005 Muhammed cartoon uproar. Mr. Westergaard is safe, having fled with his grandchild to a panic room and called the police, who arrived and wounded the young Somali suspect, now charged with attempted murder. Both the attempt and the online response to it, however, show that even five years later, the cartoon incident continues to spark strong emotions.

  • Will It Ever End? "It's amazing," comments James Joyner, editor of the Atlantic Council, at Outside the Beltway, "that this man has to live like this five years after drawing some cartoons. Then again, Salman Rushdie has been under death threat for more than twenty years for writing a book."
  • Danish Shock In analysis for the London Times, foreign staff remark that news of the assassination attempt "came as a shock in Denmark which thought that it had closed the chapter of the controversy that led to deaths in protests in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia, attacks on Danish embassies and the withdrawal of ambassadors from Iran, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia."
  • 'Nearly a Free-Speech Martyr,' declares Crunchy Con blogger Rod Dreher, incensed over the notion of an attempted murder in front of the cartoonist's grandchild "over a drawing ... There's no reasoning with them," he continues, presumably referring to extremists, "any more than there's reasoning with the SS man coming through the door."
  • Way to Confirm the Original Cartoon  While noting that "hundreds of thousands [of Muslims] are fighting and dying on the side of law, order, rationality, and humanity," Jules Crittenden remarks that "the part I've always found ironic is how, in [the extremists'] rage over a cartoon, they demonstrate what a devastatingly spot-on satire it was." He pastes in, for reader reference, the Westergaard drawing of the prophet with a bomb for a turban.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.