The country’s intelligence service has arrested 5 men who are suspected of planning an "imminent" terror attack against the very same newspaper which created an international firestorm back in 2005 when it published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.
The four arrests involved, according to reports, a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Swede born in Lebanon, a 30-year-old Swede and a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker. They were all described as militant Islamists with connections to international terror networks. One official was quoted as saying that the arrests underscore the serious terror threat against Denmark and especially against institutions and people connected to the cartoon case.
The article in Wikipedia describes how the newspaper published 12 editorial cartoons on September 30, 2005 saying this was an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship.
Danish Muslim organisations were the first to object however newspapers in 50 other countries then reprinted the cartoons which lead to an international backlash. The protests across the Muslim world lead to violence which in turn led to more than 100 deaths due to confrontations with police trying to do crowd control. Not just the Danish flag was burned; Danish embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran were set ablaze. Those in the Western world supported Denmark; many in Muslim countries were opposed. The Times of London reported
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister who has been burnt in effigy in dozens of cities across the world since the crisis began in late January, has called the furore Denmark’s worst international relations incident since the Second World War.
The controversy is not over
This latest incident is a reminder that for some, the 2005 cartoon publication has not been forgotten or forgiven.
Three men were arrested in February 2008 by Danish police on suspicion of planning to assassinate Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew the Bomb in the Turban cartoon. Westergaard was put under police protection. He was quoted as saying that a "perfectly normal everyday activity [drawing political cartoons] which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness."
According to Wikipedia, Danish police shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard in January 2010. The man was described as a 28-year-old Somali linked to the Islamist al-Shabab militia. He was armed with an axe and a knife and intended on killing the cartoonist.
A letter bomb exploded in Copenhagen in September 2010 but by accident. It was intended to be sent to Jyllands-Posten.
It is obvious that religious extremists still carry a grudge against those perceived as responsible to this supposed affront against their prophet. In my blog Extremism: I’m right and you’re wrong I quote the American cartoonist Walt Kelly who in his strip Pogo so aptly stated:
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
All camps must do their part to rein in the extremist elements in their midst. Such "flying off the handle" doesn’t do anybody any good. As some anonymous commentator so wryly noted years ago and which is repeated by the American comedian Stephen Wright:
All extremists should be taken out and shot.
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Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (English: The Morning Newspaper "The Jutland Post"), commonly shortened to Jyllands-Posten or JP, is a Danish daily broadsheet newspaper. It is based in Viby, a suburb of Århus, and with a weekday circulation of approximately 120,000 copies, it is among the largest-selling newspaper in Denmark.
Wikipedia: Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy