Danish cartoonist behind controversial Prophet Mohammed drawing dies

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The Danish cartoonist behind a controversial 2006 drawing of the Prophet Mohammed has died.

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Kurt Westergaard passed away at the age of 86 after a long illness, Danish daily Berlingske reports.

Westergaard’s 2006 satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper where he had worked since the 1980s sparked protests throughout the Muslim world.

Several Middle Eastern countries boycotted Danish products after the cartoon was published, striking a blow to the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, several commentators in the West including columnist Christopher Hitchens defended the cartoon as an expression of free speech.

Westergaard lived the rest of his life accompanied by a security detail and several attempts were made on his life.

In 2010 when Westergaard was 75, a 28-year-old man from a Somali background broke into his home and tried to attack him with an axe before being apprehended by police.

A 29-year old man was arrested for making bomb threats against the cartoonist in 2013.

More recently, his cartoon stirred up controversy when French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in the street after showing his students the drawing.

Several Muslim countries objected to the showing of the cartoon in the French school, also denouncing terror attacks and attempts to link terror to Islam.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia condemns Prophet cartoons, rejects attempts linking Islam to terrorism

Kuwait retail co-ops remove French products in boycott over Prophet cartoon

Head of Muslim League on Prophet cartoon: We are not against freedoms, only hatred

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