Flemming Rose: Why I Published Cartoons of Muhammad and Don’t Regret It

Almost a decade has passed since I commissioned drawings of the Prophet Muhammad to run in Jyllands-Posten. But despite countless op-eds and even a book that laid out my motivation for publishing the drawings, confusion and bizarre conspiracy theories continue to cause controversy about that fateful decision.

In 2006, for example, a Syrian television series portrayed me as a Ukrainian Jew with close ties to neoconservative circles in the U.S. My purpose for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, according to the show, was to stir up conflict between the Muslim world and the West.

The echo of those cartoons still reverberates in different parts of the world. The recent attacks on cartoonists and artists in France and Denmark are just the two most recent examples.

A few days ago, a Guardian commenter wondered: “I’d like to ask Flemming Rose why he commissioned the infamous cartoons. What news story was he seeking to illustrate, or what political statement was he seeking to make?”