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Danish minister posts screen grab of Muhammad cartoon

September 27, 2017 - 7:37 AM

COPENHAGEN - Denmark's integration minister has caused a stir by publishing a screen grab of a tablet showing a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that caused outrage among Muslims around the world in 2006.

After a Danish museum didn't display the 12 caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad in its exhibition on blasphemy, Inger Stoejberg posted a photo of an iPad where the background was a drawing of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

Stoejberg wrote Tuesday on Facebook that the cartoons show Denmark is "a free country where opinions are challenged," adding "we should be proud of the Muhammad cartoons."

"I have no real comments" about Stoejberg's Facebook post, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said. "But I'm happy to live in a country where you can have artists making bizarre pieces of art."

Holger K. Nielsen of the opposition Socialist People's party urged people on Twitter to ignore Stoejberg.

The drawings first appeared in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper in September 2005 to test whether cartoonists would apply self-censorship when asked to portray Muhammad. Although no Danish laws had been violated, they sparked protests four months later in pre-dominantly Muslim countries, where Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet.

Denmark then became the target of Islamist extremists, and police say they have thwarted a series of terror plots against Denmark. In February 2016, a gunman killed two people and wounded five in attacks on a free-speech event and Copenhagen's main synagogue.

The three-month exhibition, called Image Storm, opens Friday at a small museum in Viborg, 160 miles (260 kilometres) northwest of Copenhagen, and tells how blasphemy has provoked people since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation.

In a statement, the museum said it had "deliberately chosen not to show" the Muhammad drawings, citing potential security challenges.

"We would like to show that the debate about blasphemy and freedom of expression reaches far beyond the Muhammad crisis," it said.

The exhibition includes a 1987 photograph by American artist Andres Serrano of a small plastic crucifix submerged in a small glass tank allegedly filled with the artist's urine.

It also shows a tin can by Italian artist Piero Manzoni filled with 30 grams (1.1 ounce) of human excrement and a jar with parts of a horse by Bjoern Noergaard, a Danish artist who caused a scandal in 1970 by slaughtering a horse.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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