Modernity, where art thou? The Islamic world should stand up and denounce this act of “Revenge!” and “Blood!”
The suspected assailant was wounded by police gunshots to the knee and hand when he resisted arrest after breaking into the home of the artist, Kurt Westergaard, on Friday night, according to a statement issued immediately after the attack by Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish intelligence service, known as PET.
The attack followed years of threats to kill Mr. Westergaard by Islamic militant groups, and appeared to have come perilously close to succeeding.
The 74-year-old artist told his employer, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, that he had taken refuge from the attack in a fortified bathroom built into his home by the intelligence service, and was there with his 5-year-old granddaughter as the assailant, armed with an ax and a knife, tried to break in.
The newspaper quoted Mr. Westergaard as saying that the attacker shouted “Revenge!” and “Blood!” as he tried to smash down the door in the minutes before the arrival of the police, who had been notified by the artist’s setting off a panic button.
Mr. Westergaard’s cartoon was one of 12 cartoons published in Danish newspapers that included representations of the Prophet Muhammad and which led to the burning of Danish diplomatic offices and businesses in predominantly Muslim countries in 2006.