Kurt Westergaard, cartoonist behind Muhammad cartoon, dies

Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon died.

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Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind Prophet Muhammad’s cartoon died.

The Danish artist was responsible for making the caricature of the beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH) which created outrage in the Muslim world. He was suffering from a disease and died while sleeping, his family told.

The illustrator was behind one of 12 drawings published by conservative daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 under the headline The Face of Mohammed, with his sparking particular anger. Islamic tradition says no image of the prophet should be produced or shown.

The aftermath of the caricatures caused violence across the Muslim world in 2006, as a result of which few places in Damascus were burned down. The violence linked to the cartoons culminated in a 2015 massacre in France that left 12 people dead at the Paris office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had reprinted the cartoons in 2012. Many deaths have occurred as a result of violent activities in France. 

Death threats against Westergaard personally eventually forced him into hiding. In 2008 Denmark’s three main newspapers reprinted the cartoon after the arrest of three men for plotting to murder the artist. One was released without charge, another deported and a third sent to an asylum center.

During the last years of his life Westergaard, like several others associated with the cartoons, had to live under police protection at a secret address.