In 2005, Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, became concerned about what he saw as acts of self-censorship in Europe to avoid offending Muslims. In response, he commissioned a dozen cartoonists to portray the prophet Muhammad in any way that they saw fit.The cartoons were drawn in a range of styles. One made fun of the editors of Jyllands-Postenfor trying to provoke attention, another put a Danish anti-immigration politician in a police lineup, and one portrayed the prophet with a bomb in his turban with a quote from the Koran printed on the front.
The cartoons drew a range of responses, including rioting and violence in the Middle East and attacks on at least one of the cartoonists.
Here are several links that deal with the Danish cartoons and editorial cartooning around the world. Several of the links below are to blog posts by Daryl Cagle, who is a prominent political cartoonist and the editor of the political cartoon site Cagle.com.
- Vancouver Sun: Political cartoonists risk death, injury to shine light on life
- NY Times: Archive of stories about the Danish Cartoon Controversy
- See the actual Danish cartoons
Warning – The material here may be offensive to some readers.
- Editorial cartoons about the Danish cartoons
- Daryl Cagle on the Danish cartoons
- Daryl Cagle: Iranian Cartoonist Sentenced to 25 Lashings
- Daryl Cagle: There’s a BIG Culture Gap Between American Cartoonists and the Rest of the World