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Danish paper that printed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad rejected Jesus cartoons in 2003
The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.
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A step-by-step chronology of the Cartoon Crisis as they unfold.
Sep 17 2005:
Politiken, a Danish newspaper, runs an article under the headline ”Deep fear of criticism of Islam”, detailing the difficulty encountered by the writer Kåre Bluitgen, who had difficulties finding an illustrator for his children’s book on the life of Mohammed.
Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s best-selling daily newspapers, publishes 12 cartoons of the Prophet to illustrate the problem.
Ambassadors from 10 mainly Muslim nations and the Palestinian representative in Denmark call the cartoons deeply offensive and demand a meeting with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, urging him “to take all those responsible to task”.
Mr Rasmussen says offended parties should use the courts to air their grievances and refuses to meet the ambassadors.
A coalition of Danish Muslim groups files a criminal complaint against Jyllands-Posten newspaper. A regional prosecutor investigates the complaint, but decides NOT to press charges.
The Danish Muslim coalition visits the Middle East. seeking support from religious and political leaders.
Jan 1 2006:
Mr Rasmussen condemns any actions that “attempt to demonise groups of people on the basis of their religion or ethnic background,’’ but reiterates Denmark’s commitment to freedom of speech.
Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, joins the protests.
Magazinet, a Norwegian Christian newspaper, reprints the cartoons.
Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders demand an apology and call for the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to be punished.
Saudi ambassador is recalled from Copenhagen. Danish companies in Riyadh report a boycott of Danish goods and supermarkets remove products from the shelves.
Protests begin to spread across the Middle East
Jyllands-Posten publishes a statement on its website, saying it regretted offending Muslims and offered an apology, but said it had a right under Danish law to print the cartoons.
Mr Rasmussen calls for calm in the dispute, but the Danish Muslims group say the Jyllands-Posten apology is “ambiguous” and demands a clearer one.
Feb 1 - 2:
Media in France, Germany, Britain, Spain, the US, Iceland, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Hungary, reprint the cartoons.
France Soir, a Paris daily tabloid, sacks its managing editor for publishing the drawings, but defends its right to print them. In Jordan, the weekly newspaper Shihan’ publishes them with an editorial by former Jordanian senator Jihad Momani but later withdraws issues from circulation.
Danish prime minister meets ambassadors and diplomats from more than 70 countries. Mona Omar Attia, Egypt’s ambassador says the Danish government’s response is inadequate.
A South African court prohibits newspapers from publishing the cartoons. Protesters in Damascus attack the Danish and Norwegian embassies. Mr Momani and Mr Hisham Khalid, editor of al-Mehwar, another Jordanian weekly that published the cartoons, are arrested and charged with insulting religion
Protestors storm the Danish Embassy in Beirut. One person is left dead and several are injured. Iran recalls its ambassador to Denmark. Denmark says it is withdrawing diplomatic staff from Syria and recommending Danes leave the country. Norway confirms it is taking the same action with diplomatic staff in Syria.
Lebanon apologises to Denmark. EU leaders call for calm. Protests erupt in Afghanistan where one person died. Danish and Austrian embassies attacked in Tehran.
Austria, holders of the EU presidency, demand Muslim states improve security measures for European citizens and premises after attacks. Iran suspends trade with Denmark. Norwegian NATO peacekeepers attacked in Afghanistan as demonstrations escalate.