The Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper approached forty artists asking for depictions of Muhammad and received in response twelve cartoons of the Prophet - several playing on the perceived connection between violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam around the world today. These 12 cartoons were published in the paper. One cartoon -- depicting the prophet with a bomb in his turban -- has drawn the harshest criticism. Angry voices claim the cartoon is saying that the prophet is a terrorist or that every Muslim is a terrorist. I read it differently: Some individuals have taken the religion of Islam hostage by committing terrorist acts in the name of the prophet. They are the ones who have given the religion a bad name. The cartoon also plays into the fairy tale about Aladdin and the orange that fell into his turban and made his fortune. This suggests that the bomb comes from the outside world and is not an inherent characteristic of the prophet.
Once the cartoons were printed, the reaction of Muslims worldwide to what they perceived as a direct attack on Islam was immediate. An apology was demanded from the paper and initially refused. Boycotts of Danish products were begun. Muslim Ambassadors to Denmark were recalled. The editor of the newspaper has received threats. ...Show more