On October 26, 2006, the City Court of Aerhus in Denmark dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by seven Muslim organizations against the editors of Jyllands-Posten, a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. Islam forbids the pictorial depiction of Muhammad, and worldwide protests followed the publication of the cartoons some of them violent. The Danish court held that while the cartoons may have offended some, there was no reason to think that the editors published the cartoons with the intent to "belittle" Muslims. The Danish government had declined to press criminal charges against the newspaper, although editors of publications in Jordan, Indonesia and Belarus faced criminal charges in those countries for republishing the cartoons. The controversy was reignited in 2008 when Jyllands-Posten and several other Dutch newspapers reprinted the cartoons in support of the paper's right to freedom of speech.
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Learn more about the controversial Muhammad cartoons and the laws governing freedom of the press from the JURIST news archive.