The Danish cartoonist who caused an uproar in the Muslim world by drawing insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed has been presented with an award by German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Ms Merkel paid tribute to 75-year-old Kurt Westergaard at a ceremony defending press freedom.
She told the audience that they should never forget how valuable liberty was, and said press freedom was the cornerstone of a free democracy, ABC Online reports.
“It does not matter if we think his cartoons are tasteful or not, if we think they are necessary and helping or not,” Merkel said at the ceremony in the city of Potsdam. The question, she said, was, “Is he allowed to do this? Yes, he is.”
There have been at least three attempted attacks on the 75-year-old Westergaard or his newspaper, the Danish the Jyllands-Posten (1), since he and 11 other artists angered Muslims around the world by creating the Muhammad cartoons four years ago. Protesters in Muslim countries have torched Danish and other Western embassies, The Associated Press says.
1) Note that the editor of Jyllands Posten who commissioned the cartoons is Flemming Rose, an associate of Neo Conservative Daniel Pipes. See: Will You Bow Down Before Their God?