The Man Behind the Most Infamous Cartoon of All Time

Flemming Rose has been called a Nazi, a Muslim-hater, and a Danish Satan. He has been simultaneously targeted with death threats and blamed for the deaths of 200 or more innocent people around the world. Since September 2005, when he commissioned now-infamous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed for the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, Rose has been a focal point for the tension between respect for cultural diversity and the protection of democratic freedoms.

51Scvpib0iL._AA160_This image of Rose as provocateur extraordinaire is difficult to reconcile with the man himself: Soft-spoken and reflective, he gives the impression of being still a little surprised to have caused such a stir. “I am not by nature a provocative person,” he explained to me when I met with him in Washington, D.C.

“I do not seek conflict for its own sake, and it gives me no pleasure when people take offense at things I have said or done.” It’s baffling to him that Westerners couldn’t see his decision to publish the cartoons as an act in defense of the values on which liberal democracies were founded…

Rose has spent the years since then speaking at universities and discussion panels, defending his decision, and looking inward. “I found I needed to reflect on my own history and background,” he said. “Why was this debate so important to me?” Rose’s new book, The Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech, is part of his “personal quest” to make sense of the madness that has engulfed the last decade of his life…

  • Martin Luffa

    Hey Hey

    Got a new cat picture for those communist type moments

  • Icebow

    Global diversity, fine. Internal diversity in moderation OK, usually, except of course in the case of cancerous Islam.

  • mo is a ho

    Europe deserves Islam. It’s not wanting freedom of speech.

  • How curious that they very people who sought to placate the Islamists were then targeted by them (RE: children’s book author who wanted to write about Mohammad, the “art” exhibit that tore up the Bible, Koran and Talmud equally).

    This means that censorship in order to please won’t work. One might as well say or do what one must.

  • Brett_McS

    I have number 584 of the 1000 of those signed prints.

  • simus1

    The cartoon(s) worked much the same way as the riots orchestrated by the evildoers lurking unmentioned in the shadows around Ferguson. Nothing much was made of the cartoons early on in the middle east until governments and fanatics there realized their potential.

  • dagawker

    This drawing makes for good use of photoshop. The greatest ever in my opinion.

  • Barrington Minge

    Surely that should be “Famous” not Infamous?