Danish Cartoonist who Satirized Prophet Mohammed to Retire

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By: E&P Staff

The Copenhagen Post has reported that cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who satirized the prophet Mohammed by showing him with a bomb in his turban, has decided to retire from Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.

Westergaard, who turns 75 next month, was with Jyllands Posten for 27 years, according to The Associated Press.

Westergaard’s drawing, which provoked widespread indignation and threats, appeared in the paper five years ago with several other cartoons relating to Islam. The latest attempt on his life occurred Jan. 1 of this year, when an ax-wielding Somali residing in Denmark broke in his house. Westergaard hid in a bathroom reinforced for protection.

“My absence can perhaps reduce the level of threat against Jyllands-Posten,” Westergaard told reporters. “I feel that I can now retire with a good conscience after doing my bit for the newspaper. For me it is the right time to stop.”

The English-language Post quoted Jyllands-Posten editor-in-chief Jørn Mikkelsen saying that Westergaard “decided to stop in order to dedicate himself to other artistic endeavors.” The editor went on to thank Westergaard for his “many ingenuous and beautiful drawings” and for his “courage and steadfastness” since the furor his drawing caused in 2005.

Two years after Westeergaard’s cartoon appeared, another, by Lars Vilks, depicting Mohammed as a dog, was published in a Swedish newspaper. Last month, Vilks’ house was attacked by protesters “after he showed a film about Islam and homosexuality during a lecture at Uppsala University,” the AP reported.

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