Published February 06, 2006
KABUL, Afghanistan – Key events in the controversy over the publication of the prophet Muhammad caricatures:
— Sept. 30, 2005: The Jyllands-Posten daily, one of Denmark's largest newspapers, publishes 12 drawings of the prophet Muhammad in what it calls a test of self-censorship among cartoonists when it comes to Muslim issues.
— Oct. 12: Ambassadors from 10 predominantly Muslim nations and the Palestinian representative in Denmark send a letter demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and urging him "to take all those responsible to task."
— Oct. 21: Fogh Rasmussen declines to meet with the ambassadors, saying "the offended party may bring such acts or expressions to court."
— Oct. 28: A coalition of Danish Muslim groups files a criminal complaint against Jyllands-Posten. A regional prosecutor investigates the complaint but decides not to press charges.
— December-January: The Danish Muslim coalition tours the Middle East seeking support from religious and political leaders.
— Jan. 1, 2006: Fogh Rasmussen condemns any expression or action that "attempts to demonize groups of people on the basis of their religion or ethnic background" but reiterates Denmark's commitment to freedom of speech.
— Jan. 4: Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa protests the publication.
— Jan. 10: A Christian newspaper in Norway, Magazinet, reprints the cartoons.
— Jan. 25: Religious leaders in Saudi Arabia demand that Jyllands-Posten be punished.
— Jan. 26: Saudi Arabia withdraws its ambassador from Denmark to protest the caricatures. Danish companies in Saudi Arabia report consumers were boycotting Danish goods and supermarket chains were removing Danish products from the shelves. In the following days, protests against Denmark spread across the Middle East.
— Jan 30: In a statement published on its Web page, Jyllands-Posten said it regretted it had offended Muslims and apologized to them, but stood by its decision to print the cartoons, saying it was within Danish law.
— Jan. 31: Fogh Rasmussen calls on all sides to refrain from further aggravating the dispute. Later that day, the Danish Muslims group demands a clearer apology from the newspaper, saying the apology posted on the Web site was "ambiguous."
— Late January-early February: Media in France, Germany, the United States, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Greenland, Bulgaria, Portugal and Jordan reprint the cartoons.
— Feb. 2: The weekly Jordanian newspaper Shihan publishes the cartoons with an editorial by former Jordanian senator Jihad Momani. Momani is fired from the paper and Shihan's publisher withdraws copies of the issue from circulation.
— Feb. 3: Fogh Rasmussen and Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller meet with ambassadors and diplomats from more than 70 countries. Egypt's ambassador Mona Omar Attia calls the Danish government's response to the controversy inadequate.
— Feb. 4: A South African court prohibits newspapers from publishing the cartoons. Protesters in Damascus, Syria, attack the Danish and Norwegian embassies. Momani and Hisham Khalid, editor of al-Mehwar, another Jordanian weekly that published the cartoons, are arrested and charged with insulting religion.
— Feb. 5: Protesters in Beirut, Lebanon, storm and set fire to the building housing the Danish Embassy. Iran says it has recalled its ambassador to Denmark.
— Feb. 6: Afghan troops shot and killed four protesters, some as they tried to storm a U.S. military base outside Bagram — the first time a protest over the issue has targeted the United States. Protesters in Tehran hurl stones at the Danish and Austrian embassies.