The personification of the controversial cartoon crisis which has plagued Denmark over the past four years, Kurt Westergaard, has declared that his inflammatory drawing was not of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed and has blamed imams for inciting violence.
“It is not Mohammed. The drawing shows that there are terrorists who are inspired by parts of Islam as their spiritual ammunition. That is what the drawing shows, and that is what I have always said,” said Westergaard during an interview with Danish newspaper Politiken.
In 2005 Jyllands-Posten displayed 12 drawings, including Westergaard’s, in a collection entitled: “The Faces of Mohammed“. Initial reactions to the piece were muted but within months an international crisis had beset Denmark following outrage among global imams, leading Westergaard to be placed under constant surveillance out of fears for his life. He is still under constant security watch following attempted attacks in the past two months.
Westergaard himself has now spoken out in defence of the cartoon, blaming imams for portraying the drawing as the ultimate symbol of Islam-hatred in the west. “It has been opportune for imams and other Islamic authorities to say that it was Mohammed. Imams who operate with hatred as fuel to create a feeling of community need an easy symbol. So they have taken over this drawing, which has now become The Mohammed Cartoon in large parts of the world,” Westergaard claimed.