Kurt Westergaard's controversial cartoon of the Muslim prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban has sparked violent riots in the past, but his recent visit to Yale University just caused protests.
Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist, spoke at the New Haven campus this week and the 15 protesters were peaceful and carried signs that read "For God? For Country and For Yale," the Yale Daily News reports. They chanted "no place for hate" as people moved into the conference center.
In September the Yale Muslim Students Association wrote they were "deeply hurt and offended" by the decision to bring Westergaard to campus but opted not to protest at the event.
The talk occurred soon after a group of alumni sent a letter to University President Richard Levin and members of the Yale Corporation calling for the Yale University Press to republish “The Cartoons that Shook the World,” which omitted the actual cartoon, with the cartoons intact. The University and its press decided in the summer not to include the cartoons in that book, written by Jytte Klausen, who also spoke on campus Thursday.
Klausen opened her talk on Thursday evening, entitled “Blasphemy and Inquiry: ‘The Cartoons That Shook the World’ ” by saying she did not want to discuss the Yale University Press’ decision to omit the Danish cartoons and all other images of Muhammad from her book.
There was extensive security at both events and federal and state police were consulted about the necessary protection.