Danish newspapers closed ranks on Wednesday to defend a cartoonist's right to free speech by reprinting 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked deadly riots in Muslim countries in early 2006. The papers were responding to the arrest in Denmark on Tuesday (more...) of three Muslim men who allegedly wanted to kill Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew the most inflammatory image, showing Muhammed with a bomb-shaped turban.

"We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case," the Copenhagen paper Berlingske Tidende wrote on Wednesday morning, "and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper will always defend."

Reaction from Muslim leaders was mixed. "There could have been other ways to do it without the drawing, which I personally do not like," said Abdul Wahid Petersen, a moderate imam, according to the Associated Press.

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