The Muslims will seethe over this one, just you wait. KGS
(Reuters)– German Chancellor Angela Merkel risked angering Muslims by speaking at an awards ceremony on Wednesday for a Dane whose cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed provoked sometimes violent protests by Muslims five years ago.
The 75-year-old cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose drawings of Mohammed that offended Muslims worldwide first appeared in Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, was due to receive a prize on Wednesday evening at a conference on freedom of the press.
At a time of fierce debate in Germany over disparaging remarks about Muslim immigrants made by a central bank member, some Muslims criticized the center-right chancellor and the media said she was taking a risk by honoring a man whom many Muslims believe insulted their faith.
Aiman Mazyek of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said in a statement: “Merkel is honoring the cartoonist who in our view trampled on our Prophet and trampled on all Muslims.”
“By having her photo taken next to Kurt Westergaard, Merkel is taking a huge risk,” wrote the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung before the ceremony.
“It will probably be the most explosive appointment of her chancellorship so far.”