As mentioned in last night’s news feed, the Danish Motoonist Kurt Westergaard has been giving interviews with the press recently. Our Danish correspondent TB has kindly translated some of the latest comments by the cartoonist.
It seems that not everyone in the Arab world gets the old man’s jokes. TB says:
Today there was an interview (one more) with Kurt Westergaard. This time he is asking for permission to bring along a pig when he goes to prison in Jordan.
Apparently the Arab media have misunderstood his ‘willingness’ to show up in court in Jordan as something he meant literally. It is this irony again. A lot of people simply don’t get it.
Anyway, I think this pig-thing will do it!
Some translated excerpts:
“I have asked if I, like here in Denmark, can have a cell with a television and access to a library if I go down there. I enjoy reading. And I have also asked if I could have pork chops twice a week. Normally we eat that in Denmark, so they should be able to meet the needs of an old man like me,” the hated cartoonist says.
73-year-old Westergaard is well aware that he probably just makes the Islamists even more angry with his ironic statements. But he can’t help it.
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“The whole thing is very serious for me. I go to work with a police escort because there are people out there trying to kill me. But I have to keep an ironic distance from it all, and I try to bring some humor into the debate. Unfortunately, it is my experience that very religious people do not possess much of a sense of humor when it is about their own religion.”
And the artist’s statement about pork chops in prison does not evoke a lot of laughter from Zakarye Sheikh when Nyhedsavisen calls him. Sheikh is the editor of a Jordanian Islamic weekly and he is the spokesman for the group that has charged Westergaard with “blasphemy” and with “spreading religious and sectarian division”.
“I will not comment on such a stupid statement. I would rather use my resources to make sure that he is prosecuted. He should be placed behind bars and he should be sentenced the maximum punishment possible within the law” Zakarya Sheikh says.
[Kurt Westergaard says:] “If I said that I was sorry, I would have lost my professional honor. I have just done my job. I made a cartoon because I felt provoked by the fact that terrorists used their religion to justify terror. I can never apologize.”