Timeline – Prophet Mohammad cartoons bring attacks to Scandinavia

By Reuters Staff
April 13, 2012

(A Muslim protester raises a fist as he shouts slogans in front of a banner during a demonstration against Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose sketch had shown the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog, outside the Swedish embassy in Kuala Lumpur March 26, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)

Four men, charged with plotting to storm the offices of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten to protest against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad went on trial on Friday. Here is a timeline of what has happened since the newspaper became the first to publish the images that provoked Muslim protests around the globe.

Sept. 30, 2005 – Jyllands-Posten publishes the 12 cartoons by various artists, most of which depict the Prophet Mohammad. The cartoons trigger protests by Danish Muslims, but initially attract little attention elsewhere.

– In the following weeks, dozens of papers in Europe and elsewhere, including Norway’s Magazinet, reprint the cartoons.

Jan. 30, 2006 – Jyllands-Posten issues an apology.

Feb. 4 – Thousands of protesters set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. The Danish and Norwegian embassies in Beirut are attacked the next day. Lebanese interior minister Hassan al-Sabaa resigns.

Feb. 10 – Vebjoern Selbekk, editor of Magazinet, apologises for publishing the cartoons. Protests continue as a Danish and an American flag are burned at the Danish embassy in Caracas.

– Over 50 people are killed in protests in countries from the Middle East to Africa and Asia.

Oct. 26 – A Danish court rules in favour of Jyllands-Posten after seven Danish Muslim organisations accused it of libel, saying the images implied that all Muslims were terrorists.

July-August 2007 – Drawings by Swedish artist Lars Vilks are published in local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, based in Orebro in central Sweden, depicting the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog. A number of Muslim countries condemn the drawings and make official protests.

Feb. 12, 2008 – Police arrest two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent in Denmark for planning to kill Kurt Westergaard, who drew the cartoon that caused most offence, showing the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.

Feb. 13 – Danish newspapers reprint one of the drawings in protest at the plot. The next day, Islamist students burn the Danish flag in southern Pakistan.

October 2009 – U.S. authorities arrest the American David Headley and the Pakistani-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana on suspicion of plotting an attack on Jyllands-Posten.

Jan. 1, 2010 – Westergaard escapes an attack by a Somali man armed with an axe at his home in Aarhus. In May attackers try to set fire to Westergaard’s home.

Sept. 8 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel awards Westergaard the M100 prize, dedicated, in 2010, to freedom of the press.

Sept. 11 – A Chechen man mistakenly sets off a small explosion in a Copenhagen hotel, injuring only himself. Police said they found a map with the address of Jyllands-Posten’s headquarters in Aarhus circled among the man’s belongings.

Sept. 28 – Norway says that two men held there admitted planning bomb attacks. One of the men, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd, confessed to plotting to attack Jyllands-Posten.

Sept. 29 – Flemming Rose, cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten in 2005 when the cartoons were first printed, publishes a book that reprints the pictures and warns of a “tyranny of silence” — also the title of the book.

– Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen meets 17 ambassadors from Muslim countries as part of efforts to prevent any new cartoon crisis and to foster understanding.

Dec. 11 – A car blows up in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, in a busy shopping area, followed by a second blast nearby that kills the bomber, Taymour Abdulwahab, and injures two people.

– The blasts follow an emailed threat referring to Sweden’s troops in Afghanistan and to Vilks’s cartoon of the Prophet.

Dec. 29 – Police in Sweden and Denmark arrest five people on suspicion of planning to attack Jyllands-Posten offices in Copenhagen to “kill as many as possible of those around”. They find a machine gun and ammunition.

Jan. 30, 2012 – A Norwegian court convicts two men of plotting to blow up Jyllands-Posten. The Norwegian plot was part of a series of foiled attacks against the paper.

April 13 – Four men charged with a 2010 plot to storm the offices of Jyllands-Posten go on trial.

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One comment

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I think it is truly sad that violence and attacks seem to be the knee-jerk reaction when anyone anywhere says, does, or writes something that the muslim community finds offensive. They say and do and believe quite a number of things that I find offensive – but I was taught that reacting with violence is not the way to make a point, stooping to someone else’s level is not the way either. Obviously they were not taught that particular lesson.

It just seems like a double standard – they can post videos from the middle east of a beheading of an infidel and the rest of the world does not attack their consulates, Christians don’t riot in the streets, blow up stuff near mosques or in muslim neighborhoods, etc etc. But muslims seem to think it’s OK to react in that manner when someone half way across the world says or does something that offends them.

Get over it! The rest of the world needs to quit apologizing and tell them to grow up and act like adults, state your grievance or complaint without using it as an excuse for all the hysteria, violence, and criminal activity. All you are doing is perpetuating the negative stereotypes. Most of the planet has a policy of free speech and most of us agree that there can be differing opinions. They seem to be the only group who thinks that no one should ever disrespect them yet they see no inconsistency in their disrespect of every one else on the planet. Enough already. For a religion that has been around for so long, it’s time for it’s followers to grow up!

Posted by MidwestVoice | Report as abusive