Danish Paper Apologizes for Cartoon
Posted on Feb 26, 2010
A Danish newspaper that published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban has apologized for offending Muslims. The penitence was part of a settlement between the paper and eight Muslim groups. The apology has been denounced by other members of the Danish media, which previously stood united in rejecting calls to back down in the face of Islamic outrage over the cartoon. —JCL
A Danish newspaper on Friday became the first in the country to apologise for offending Muslims by printing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban, rekindling a heated debate about free speech.
Politiken said its apology was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups in the Middle East and Australia.
The daily drew strong criticism from Danish media, which previously had stood united in rejecting calls to apologise for 12 cartoons that sparked fierce protests in the Muslim world four years ago.
Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the prime minister, expressed surprise at Politiken’s move, saying he was worried that Danish media no longer were “standing shoulder to shoulder” on the issue.
Politiken said it did not mean to offend Muslims in Denmark or elsewhere when it reprinted one of the most controversial cartoons, showing the Prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the Prophet, even favourable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
The Copenhagen headquarters of Politiken, the newspaper that apologized for publishing an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.