One of the leading forces in the 2005–06 prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy, Danish Muslim activist Ahmed Akkari, now regrets his role as agitator and reveals a larger, more deliberate, and more vicious conspiracy behind the crisis than previously known.
Program Officer, Freedom in the World & Freedom of the Press
May 2, 2014
Freedom House yesterday released its annual Freedom of the Press report. The findings paint a grim picture of the state of global media freedom, with just 14 percent of the world’s population enjoying a vibrant press with diverse views and minimal state intrusion.
In 2006, in the midst of the furor over the publication of Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, Freedom House issued a statement that declared:
At the heart of the cartoon controversy is the right, now and in the future, of an independent and uncensored press—and artists and writers in other venues—to comment on the issues of the day without interference from the state or threat from discomfited or aggrieved groups.
We now find ourselves embroiled in yet another uproar over freedom of expression and the sensitivities of the Muslim world. While the level of violence provoked by the Innocence of Muslims thus far has been notably lower than was the case with the Danish cartoons or, especially, the publication of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, the response of the world’s political leadership has often been more disturbing than in the previous episodes.