Denmark’s far-right party launches campaign to republish cartoons of Prophet Mohammed

Protesters with flags and symbols of global Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstrate in front of the French Embassy on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 30, 2020. (AFP)

A Danish far-right party on Friday announced a campaign to republish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed that a French teacher showed students before being killed, but local media were hesitant.

"The killing of Samuel Paty triggered the campaign, we want to show our support for his family and for freedom of speech," Pernille Vermund, leader of Nye Borgerlige (The New Right), told AFP.

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The anti-immigration party holds four out of the 179 seats in the Danish parliament.

On its website, the party launched a fundraiser to "publish advertisements with the drawings of Charlie Hebdo in Danish newspapers."

In Danish media circles the initiative was greeted with mixed responses.

Poul Madsen, editor of tabloid Extrabladet said they would only decide on the advertisements when they saw them and "not before."

"We condemn Muslim terrorism and 100 percent support France, the murdered and freedom of speech but always with careful regard to our employees and those especially vulnerable," Madsen posted on Twitter.

Vermund said she was "not at all certain it will be possible" to publish the drawings.

"But as a politician my obligation is that the development of society goes towards more freedom of speech not less," she said.

Cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed were published by Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005, leading to widespread protests and anger among many Muslim communities, to whom depictions of the prophet are forbidden.

The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, like other European newspapers, then republished them in 2006 in defence of freedom of speech.

In 2015, the newspaper was the target of a jihadist attack that killed 12 people, among them journalists and cartoonists.

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Last Update: Friday, 30 October 2020 KSA 21:12 - GMT 18:12
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