Timeline – Prophet Mohammad cartoons bring attacks to Scandinavia
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.