Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose caricature of the Prophet Muhammad outraged Muslims worldwide — culminating in the deadly attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo — has died at age 86.
Westergaard’s family told the Berlingske newspaper that he died in his sleep after a long illness. Danish media reported that he died Wednesday, a day after his birthday.
From the early 1980s, Westergaard worked as a cartoonist for leading Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, and was associated with the paper until he turned 75.
He gained global notoriety in 2005 for his controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in Jyllands-Posten, which published 12 editorial cartoons of the principal figure of Islam under the headline, “The Face of Mohammed.”
Westergaard was behind the most controversial of the cartoons published by the paper, showing the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, according to the BBC. The cartoon intended to make a point about self-censorship and criticism of Islam.
Muslims consider images of the Prophet to be sacrilegious.
The cartoons went almost unnoticed at first, but after two weeks, a demonstration was held in Copenhagen, and then ambassadors from Muslim countries in Denmark launched a protest.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Yaron Steinbuch