Worth a trial? Worth killing for?
Amman – The Danish cartoonist who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed three years ago which sparked worldwide protests by Muslims and a boycott of Danish products said he was ready to defend himself in an Amman court, Jordanian media reported Thursday. “I would like to go to Amman to stand trial. However, what I fear is that I would be convicted in advance,” Kurt Westergaard told the Jordan Times in an interview that was conducted in Copenhagen earlier this week.
On June 3, Amman Prosecutor Hassan Abdullat subpoenaed Westergaard and 20 other Danish journalists and editors involved in the republication of the 12 controversial images that were originally published in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.
The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed in April by a coalition of media outlets, professional syndicates and political parties.
The prosecutor’s move was based on articles in the Jordanian penal code and the country’s Press and Publication Law.
Westergaard said he had learnt that he had been subpoenaed by the Amman prosecutor, but that he had not been officially notified of the subpoena.
Asked about the rationale behind the pictures, the 73-year-old artist said, “I made the cartoons to highlight that there are some terrorists who misuse Islam and they take it as their spiritual ammunition.”
“I wanted to depict the terrorists as if they were taking the Prophet Mohammed as a hostage. I have no problems with Islam but with the terrorists.”
Westergaard described himself as an atheist and stressed his respect for Islam and all religions, but refused to apologize.
“I respect Islam and its followers and I have nothing against it. However, I will not apologize. We have freedom of the press and religion in Denmark,” he said….
At least for now.