The artist behind the infamous Mohammed cartoon, Kurt Westergaard, and the president of the International Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard, will speak to Yale University students as a new book about the cartoon crisis is set to be published.
Yale University Press, an autonomous publishing house associated with the university, is releasing Danish author Jytte Clausen's book 'The Cartoons That Shook The World' on Monday. The publisher has removed images of the cartoons from the book, reasoning that they might incite violence.Westergaard's cartoon, which depicts the prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, was first published by Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.
He and Hedegaard have been invited by a student organisation to speak at the university campus on 1 October, just three days after the book's scheduled release.
Hedegaard told The Copenhagen Post that he would talk about the background of the crisis and the situation today. He expected Westergaard to talk about his art and what he wanted to express through his drawings.
The timing of the talk was appropriate, he said.
'The decision of Yale University Press is of course despicable and a sign of censorship and fear. It's a sad comment of our times that a well-respected company should bow to fear of threats,' Hedegaard said.
Hedegaard also noted that 30 September is the fourth anniversary of the original publication of the drawings and announced plans to establish an annual event promoting free speech.
When asked if creating an International Free Speech Day on the cartoon anniversary would stir up negative feelings, Hedegaard said that it was not his intention to offend people.
'We are simply making a statement that we have free speech in our country so that any ideology, or group or political party can be exposed to ridicule,' said Hedegaard. 'We can't control people's feelings'.