Jyllands-Posten's editor said it was a difficult decision to not republish Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix
Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that caused global controversy by publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad was the only major Danish daily Thursday not to carry any illustrations from the French weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Jyllands-Posten sparked protests across the Muslim world – some of which turned lethal – after its 2005 publication of 12 cartoons that included a picture of the Islamic prophet wearing a bomb in a turban.
They were reprinted in Charlie Hebdo – where 12 died in a jihadist attack on its Paris offices Wednesday – in February 2006 in solidarity with Jyllands-Posten, sparking further anger and threats by radical Islamists.
Despite having previously praised Charlie Hebdo for standing “shoulder to shoulder with Jyllands-Posten when it really mattered,” the Danish newspaper’s top-ranking editor did not republish the French magazine’s work following Wednesday’s deadly attack.
"I maintain the right as an editor to be able to print all types of drawings again at some point. Just not right now," Jyllands-Posten editor Jørn Mikkelsen told his own newspaper.
"The same debate has been going on now for 10 years, for or against the drawings and so on. We must move on," he added.
Police have foiled several terror threats against the daily since it published the Muhammad cartoons, where security has been ramped up and the editor who commissioned the drawings, Flemming Rose, has been living under police protection.
Mikkelsen admitted that his staff's security had been part of the decision not to run any illustrations from the French satirical magazine.
"The truth is that for us it would be completely irresponsible to print old or new Prophet drawings right now," he said.
"Many would not like to admit that. I do, albeit very grudgingly. Jyllands-Posten has a responsibility to itself and its employees," he added.
Denmark's other two main broadsheets, Politiken and Berlingske, both published a series of Charlie Hebdo's most memorable covers, including one that appeared to show Muhammad being pushed in a wheelchair by a Jewish man.
The daily Information also republished the ‘Charia Hebdo’ cover, while tabloid Ekstra Bladet renamed itself Charlie Hebdo for the day in honour of the French cartoonists gunned down on Wednesday, apparently in retaliation for the magazine's defiant stance in publishing cartoons satirising Islam
The Local has decided to not publish the Charlie Hebdo or Jyllands-Posten cartoons.