Danish Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard dies aged 86

Danish artist Kurt Westergaard, famed for drawing a caricature the Prophet Mohammed which sparked outrage around the Muslim world, has died at the age of 86, his family told Danish media on Sunday.

Danish Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard dies aged 86
Kurt Westergaard in 2015. Photo: Henning Bagger/BAG/Ritzau Scanpix

Westergaard passed away in his sleep after a long period of ill health, his family told newspaper Berlingske.

The illustrator was behind 12 drawings published by conservative daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten under the headline “The Face of Mohammed”, one of which sparked particular anger.

The cartoons went almost unnoticed initially, but after two weeks, a demonstration against them was held in Copenhagen, and then ambassadors from Muslim countries in Denmark lodged a protest.

The anger then escalated into anti-Danish violence across the Muslim world in February 2006.

The violence linked to the cartoons culminated in a 2015 massacre that left 12 people dead at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris, which had reprinted the cartoons in 2012.

Westergaard had been working at Jyllands-Posten since the mid-1980s as an illustrator, and according to Berlingske the drawing in question had actually been printed once before but without sparking much controversy.

During the last years of his life Westergaard, like a number of others associated with the cartoons, had to live under police protection at a secret address.

In early 2010, Danish police caught a 28-year-old Somalian armed with a knife in Westergaard’s house, where he was planning to kill him.

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Man charged in France for ‘liking’ Twitter post about decapitated teacher

A young man who "liked" a gruesome Twitter picture showing French teacher Samuel Paty after he was murdered has been charged with glorifying terrorism, French authorities said Sunday.

Man charged in France for 'liking' Twitter post about decapitated teacher
The man charged lives in the town of Blois on the Loire. Photo: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons
Paty was attacked and killed on the street for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on free speech.    
His killer, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who had been living in France since he was a child, was shot dead by police. Before his death he posted a picture of the teacher's severed head on Twitter.
The 22-year-old man charged on Sunday is also of Chechen origin, the public prosecutor in the central town of Blois, where he lives, said.
He was already on the radar of the authorities for having endorsed a massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that first published the Mohammed cartoons.
Several knives and other weapons were found at his home, prosecutor Frederic Chevallier.
The man denied being radicalised, Chevallier added.
Since Paty's murder on October 16 the French authorities have launched a clampdown on radical Islam.
Police have carried out dozens of raids on individuals and organisations suspected of supporting or abetting extremism.
Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are considered sacrilegious by many Muslims.
But in France, which has a long tradition of satirising religion, they are seen as symbolic of free speech.