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Timeline of the Prophet's cartoon furore

The attempted attack on Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is the latest in a string of incidents that followed the publication in 2005 of controversial cartoons featuring Islam's main prophet, Mohammad.


AFP - A Somali suspect's attempt to kill a Danish cartoonist whose depiction of the prophet Mohammed infuriated Muslims is the latest incident linked to its publication nearly five years ago.

The following is a timeline of major developments in the controversy:

- September 30, 2005: Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten publishes 12 drawings focused on Islam, several of which were seen as linking the religion and the Prophet Mohammed to modern terrorism and suicide bombings. A drawing by the cartoonist targeted late Friday, Kurt Westergaard, showed the prophet with a hat in the shape of a bomb.

Muslims were angered both by the association of their religion with terrorism and by the showing of images of Mohammed, which most consider blasphemous in and of themselves.

- October-November 2005: First street protests by Danish Muslims; a Dutch paper also publishes the images.

- January 2006: Anger rises in Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia withdraws its ambassador from Denmark.

- February 2006: Newspapers in many other countries, most of them European, publish some or all of the cartoons, citing freedom of expression.

Angry crowds demonstrate across the Muslim world, leaving dozens of people dead and causing major damage to Danish embassies and other facilities.

- February 2008: Danish police say they foiled a plot to murder Westergaard. In reaction, several major Danish papers republish the drawings.

- March 2008: Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatens Europe with a "reckoning" over the cartoons.

- June 2, 2008: At least eight people die in a bomb attack outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

- April 2009: Denmark's Free Press Society sells prints of Westergaard's cartoon for 250 dollars on the group's website. Each print is numbered and signed by the cartoonist.

- October 2009: Two men accused of plotting an attack on Jyllands Posten are arrested on terrorism charges in Chicago.

- January 2, 2010: Danish police say they have shot and arrested an axe-wielding Somali man who tried to kill Westergaard.

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