'Innocence of Muslims' And 5 Other Western Depictions Of Mohammed That Inflamed The Islamic World

on September 12 2012 3:15 PM

The depiction of the prophet Mohammed in the Western media has long been a sore subject among Muslims, who view the artistic expressions as blasphemous and highly offensive.

"Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Mohammed film that gained YouTube notoriety and spurred the Benghazi, Libya, attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, is hardly the first Western media reference of the prophet to incite religious backlash.

Here are other incidents that inflamed the Muslim world, whether it be strong condemnations or violence:

Denmark Cartoons:

Starting in 2005, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish daily newspaper, published cartoons depicting Mohammed, including one with the prophet wearing a turban with a lit fuse, indicating a bomb about to go off.

The cartoons spawned protests in the Muslim world from Africa to the Middle East that led to 200 deaths when embassies and churches were burned in response to the drawings, according to The New York Times.

The cartoons were also cited by al-Qaeda as its motivation to ignite a bomb outside the Danish embassy in Pakistan -- an attack that killed eight people, the Times reported.

Terry Jones:

In 2010, Florida pastor Terry Jones planned on burning Korans outside his church, arguing that Islam is a violent religion, before the Obama administration persuaded him not to follow through on the act.

Even though the Koran burning did not take place, it still sparked a protest in Afghanistan, where at least 30 people, including seven United Nations workers, died in an attack on the U.N. Assistance Mission. Two of the workers were beheaded, according to the Daily Mail.

Jones said Islam, not his plans, were to blame for the attack.

Koran burning by U.S. troops:

Thirty Afghans were killed during a week of protests following the burning of a stack of Korans by five U.S. troops in February 2012.

The Koran burning was also cited as the cause for the killing of six military personnel at the time, according to the Washington Post.

Salman Rushdie:

Indian-born author Salman Rushdie's controversial 1988 novel, "The Satanic Verses," inflamed the Muslim world over what some called Rushdie's blasphemous depiction of Mohammed.

Rushdie was forced into hiding in 1989 after Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a fatwa calling on the author to be killed over his work.

Despite Rushdie apologizing for "The Satanic Verses," the novel's release did not come without repercussions, including book burnings, riots, bombings and violence against the non-English publishers of the fictional work.

South Park:

In April 2010, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were warned about how Mohammed was depicted in their animated show for the 200th episode of the series.

A caricatured version of the prophet wearing a bear suit was seen as offensive to Muslims.

The Muslim website RevolutionMuslim.com cautioned the South Park creators about how the depiction would be seen in the Islamic world. The website stressed that it was not threatening Stone and Parker, only warning them that it may incite violence.

"It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," Abu Talhah al Amrikee, a poster on RevolutionMuslim.com, told Fox News at the time. ""They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."

Stone and Parker were not harmed after the airing of the episode, which was censored by Comedy Central. The network bleeped out Mohammed's name and censored the character with a  black box, according to USA Today.

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