January 3rd, 2010 | Uncategorized

Danish cartoonist survives attack

Kurt Westergaard cited Sept. 11 as the inspiration for his cartoons.
Kurt Westergaard cited Sept. 11 as the inspiration for his cartoons. Photo by Nora Caplan-Bricker.

Two months after visiting Yale, cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was attacked at his home in Aarhus, Denmark, on the evening of Jan. 1.

The attack, which the Danish intelligence service has linked to terrorism, is the latest of countless threats and attempts against the artist’s life since 2005, when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten printed controversial images of the Prophet Muhammed drawn by Westergaard and several other cartoonists.

Westergaard’s name was a hot topic at Yale last fall after the Yale University Press decided to pull his cartoon and other images of Muhammad from Jytte Klausen’s book “The Cartoons that Shook the World,” which discusses the violent response to the images. Branford Master Steven Smith invited Westergaard to campus for a Master’s Tea in October. The Yale Police Department consulted with federal and state law enforcement officials about security measures for the event, University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer said at the time.

The National Coalition Against Censorship and other organizations have decried Yale’s decision not to reprint the images. The Yale Press said in an August statement that it excluded the cartoons from Klausen’s book because of the possibility of a violent response.