Kurt Westergaard, Danish cartoonist behind Muhammad cartoon, dies at 86

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Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist whose caricature of the Prophet Muhammad outraged many Muslims worldwide, has died at the age of 86.

His family said he died after a long illness, the Berlingske newspaper reported on Sunday.

Westergaard was a cartoonist for the conservative Jyllands-Posten newspaper from the early 1980s.

He became world famous in 2005 for his controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper.

After the publication of the cartoons, Westergaard received numerous death threats and was a target of assassination attempts.

Westergaard had to live with a bodyguard at secret addresses in his later years.

Speaking to Reuters news agency in 2008, Westergaard said he had no regrets about his satirical drawing.

Westergaard’s cartoon, which showed a turban bomb, was one of 12 published by the newspaper to make a point about self-censorship and criticism of Islam.

The newspaper’s cartoons prompted protests in Denmark, while its government received complaints from the ambassadors of Muslim-majority countries.

The anger culminated in protests across the Muslim world in February 2006. Danish embassies were attacked and dozens died in riots.

The publication of the cartoons has left a lasting legacy. In 2015, 12 people were killed in an attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published the cartoons.

Photo: (FILE) – Danish caricaturist Kurt Westergaard . EPA-EFE/PETER ENDIG

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