Kurt Westergaard, Danish Muhammad Cartoonist, Dies at 86
Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist whose caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in the Muslim world and required him to have police protection, has died. Westergaard died at the age of 86 after being ill for a long time, his family told the Danish newspaper Berlingske on Sunday.
In 2005, a dozen of his drawings depicting the prophet satirically, including one in which his turban was in the shape of a bomb, were published in the conservative Jyllands-Posten newspaper, where he had worked since the 1980s. The drawings were headlined “The Face of Muhammad,” and were meant as commentary on self-censorship and criticism of Islam.
The cartoons led to demonstrations in Copenhagen and sparked a diplomatic crisis with Muslim-majority countries, which lodged complaints.
In 2010, a Somali national broke into Westergaard’s home and attempted to assassinate him with an axe. In 2015, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, leading to the death of 12 people in an attack on its offices.
His address remained secret and he lived with police protection for the rest of his life.