Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Kurt Westergaard (1935) is a Danish cartoonist who created the controversial cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban. This cartoon was the most contentious of the 12 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, which met with strong reactions from Muslims worldwide, including Western countries. Since the drawing of the cartoon, Westergaard has received numerous death threats and been a target of assassination attempts. As a result, he is under constant police protection.
On 12 February 2008, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) announced the arrest of three men — two Tunisians and one Moroccan-born Dane — who were charged with planning to murder Westergaard.
After the plot was foiled, the Danish secret service was made responsible for protecting Westergaard. He was placed under police surveillance when traveling to and from work. His house was fitted with steel doors, a panic room, reinforced glass in the windows and surveillance cameras.
Westergaard has been awarded the Sappho Award, an award given by the Free Press Society in Denmark to a 'journalist who combines excellence in his work with courage and a refusal to compromise'.
On 8 September 2010, he was awarded the M100 Media Award (M100-Medienpreis) by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his contributions to freedom of opinion.