The world-famous Danish Mohammed cartoons were first published in Jyllands-Posten on September 30th, 2005. The incident was all but unheard of outside of Denmark until several weeks later, and it did not become an international sensation until carefully orchestrated Muslim mobs began rioting and burning embassies early the following year.
However, back in those days Fjordman still kept a blog, and it was the best place on the web to gather news (I still miss it). If there was anything interesting or important in the news, Fjordman had it first. He read all the major Danish blogs, so he learned about the Motoons as soon as they appeared, and summarized the reports a few days after they were published. Fjordman’s post was the first place I saw Kurt Westergaard’s soon-to-be-iconic Turban Bomb cartoon.
In honor of the publication of the Mohammed cartoons, and in celebration of the important contribution made by Denmark to the worldwide cause of free speech, the International Free Press Society has declared September 30th — that’s the day after tomorrow — to be International Free Press Day. Here’s the press release they sent out today to mark the occasion:
The International Free Press Society declares September 30 International Free Press Day
New York, NY — September 28, 2009: On September 30, 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 drawings of Islam’s prophet Mohammed by 12 Danish artists in order to demonstrate that prohibitions on depictions of Mohammed as stipulated by Islamic law (sharia) did not trump Denmark’s freedom of the press.
In an era in which the act of speaking out in the Western world has become increasingly subject to the pressures of what we know as political correctness, this bold affirmation of free press rights by Danish journalists makes September 30 a banner day. In commemoration of their courage, then, the International Free Press Society declares September 30 to be International Free Press Day.
– – – – – – – – –
To mark the occasion, the International Free Press Society is presenting artist Kurt Westergaard on his first public tour in the USA, where he will be making appearances in New York City, Yale and Princeton. Since publishing his cartoon, the now-iconic Turban-bomb Mohammed image, Westergaard, 73, has required state security to protect him from violent retribution for violating the tenets of sharia in Denmark. Such threats have included an assassination plot uncovered by Danish police in February of last year. The day after the plot was uncovered, a number of Danish newspapers joined Jyllands-Posten in reprinting the Westergaard cartoon in solidarity with the cause of freedom of the press.
To further advance the cause of freedom of the press, the International Free Press Society will use the occasion of this first International Free Press Day to salute Kurt Westergaard, and to call, once again, for the repeal of all blasphemy and hate speech laws that currently inhibit and restrict vital exchange and debate.