Danish reprint of Muhammad cartoon sparks renewed protests

Danish reprint of Muhammad cartoon sparks renewed protests

[JURIST] Protests broke out in the Gaza Strip, Pakistan, and Denmark Friday over the reprinting of a cartoon depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad [JURIST report] by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste [media website]. Thousands marched and chanted in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the Gaza strip, while hundreds protested in Pakistan by burning Danish flags and demanding the removal of the Danish ambassador. In Copenhagen, approximately 800 people marched in a peaceful protest organized by radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir [advocacy website; Global Security backgrounder]. Also Friday, a Danish Imam, Mostafa Chendid, called for calm and urged Muslim youths to stop clashing with police after five consecutive nights of violence in Copenhagen and other Danish cities.

The cartoon was reprinted by Jyllands-Poste on Wednesday, one day after Danish police arrested three people [JURIST reports] suspected in a plot to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his characterization of Muhammad. Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who created the Muhammad cartoons [Le Monde slideshow; JURIST news archive] first published in 2005, sparking widespread protests across the Islamic world. Several other Danish newspapers also reprinted Westergaard's depiction Wednesday, accompanied by statements defending freedom of speech and the public's right to see the cause of the backlash. AP has more.