Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard to receive German prize

Berlin: Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who in 2005 portrayed the Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb in his turban, is to receive the M100 Media Prize in Germany on Wednesday, organisers said.

The prize is to be awarded for Westergaard's 'unbending engagement for freedom of the press and freedom of opinion, and for his courage to defend these democratic values despite threats of death and violence,' the prize committee said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to deliver the keynote speech at the ceremony, held in the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam and attended by editors and publishers from Europe's top media companies.

Westergaard's cartoon, published along with other portrayals of Mohammed in the Jyllands-Posten in 2005, caused a storm of protest when they became known in the Arab and Muslim world. Many took offence at the personal and disrespectful portrayal of the prophet.

The Mohammed cartoon scandal came to represent a struggle between values of press-freedom and respect for religion. Westergaard has received numerous death-threats and remains under police protection.

In January 2010 a Somali man entered Westergaard's house and attempted to attack him with an axe. The 75-year-old was rescued by police.


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