Writer behind Danish Muhammad cartoons translates Qur’an


Last Updated: Sunday, May 4, 2008 | 2:43 PM ET

CBC News <http://www.cbc. ca/news/credit. html>

The Danish writer who commissioned cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad,
igniting violent protests across the Muslim world, says he can’t find a
publisher for his latest work, a translation of the Qur’an.

Kaare Bluitgen says he has finished two new versions of the Muslim holy
book, translating them into Danish. The second is a prose version of the
text using simple language so ordinary Danes can understand.

“It’s important to learn from each other and to learn the main values of our
society,” Bluitgen told BBC News.

The journalist says his country needs the book due to the growing number of
Muslims in Denmark. Regardless, he can’t find a publisher to help get the
versions to market.

Bluitgen’s reputation now precedes him. Back in 2005, he commissioned
sketches of the Prophet to go with his book about Muhammad.

Newspaper publishes rejected cartoons

Bluitgen asked 40 illustrators to create some drawings to pair with the
book. He rejected many, and it’s 12 of those that a Danish newspaper,
Jyllands-Posten, decided to publish. One showed the Prophet’s head on the
body of a dog and another depicted him with a bomb in his turban.

The set of cartoons set a blaze of controversy, sparking demonstrations and
lighting up a fierce debate about the limits of free speech. Danish and
European embassies were attacked in the Middle East and Far East. Fifty
people died in demonstrations.

Now Bluitgen’s own publisher – which has produced several of his books – has
turned down the writer’s latest project.

“We don’t do these kind of books at all. We simply don’t have the
expertise,” said Jakob Malling Lambert from the Rosinante publishing house
in Copenhagen.

Lambert denies the decision has anything to do with the cartoon controversy.

“You have to know about the Qur’an. You have to know the market.”

Rosinante’s children’s books department accepted two works from Bluitgen
recently – one is called Muhammad: The Prophet from the Desert and the other
is about Jesus.


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