Daily Israel Report

Muslim Rage over Book on Mohammed Cartoons

Muslim rage over Mohammed cartoons returns—this time over “The Tyranny of Silence,” a new book on the crisis following cartoons five years ago.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/3/2010, 9:13 AM / Last Update: 10/3/2010, 9:30 AM

Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

Police in several cities around the world are on high alert as Muslim rage over Mohammed cartoons returns—this time over “The Tyranny of Silence,” a new book by the editor who published the cartoons that sparked the crisis five years ago.

The newspaper’s publication of the caricatures sparked worldwide Muslim riots that resulted in several deaths, and editor, Fleming Rose, received several death threats.

At least one person has been arrested in Norway on suspicion of plotting to attack the newspaper that originally published the cartoons, one of them showing the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. Security alerts were posted in Copenhagen, where the book has enjoyed brisk sales.

Danish intelligence officials said organized terror groups have targeted the newspaper at least twice. "Among Islamic militants, it is a priority objective to lead terrorist attacks against Denmark and symbols related to the caricature case," according to Danish intelligence chief Jakob Scharf.

Although Rose’s new book does not reprint the 12 caricatures of Mohammed that Kurt Westergaardr drew, it includes a picture of the newspaper’s front page. He explained that the book is an answer to the attempts to censor the publication of the cartoons.

“Words should be answered with words,” he said. "That's all we have in a democracy, and if we give that up, we will be locked in a tyranny of silence.” The Danish foreign minister tried to calm Muslim anger before it might get out of control and met with ambassadors from 17 Muslim countries.

The Jakarta Post reported that its Public Welfare minister called on Muslims in Indonesia, which hosts the world’s largest Muslim population, not to” resort to anarchy in response to news about the planned publication of the book. The publication of the book would spark international protests. In Indonesia, protests should not be in breach of the law.”

The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) condemned Rose’s new book, saying it was aimed at trying to provoke incitement and prejudice. OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu charged that publication of the book abuses freedom of speech and violates the Danish criminal code that protects people from being subject to mockery.