Danish Mohammed cartoonist cancels book tour over illness
Monday, 19 November 2012, 15:10
INTERNATIONAL NEWS - The Danish cartoonist whose caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed triggered violent protests across the Muslim world has cancelled a planned book tour because of illness, his publisher said Monday.
John Lykkegaard said the 77-year-old Kurt Westergaard had been forced to cancel planned promotional trips to New York and London for an English version of his autobiography, The Man Behind the Mohammed Cartoon.
Many Muslims were outraged over the 2005 cartoon, which depicted the prophet with a bomb in his turban. Both Westergaard and his former employer, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten which published the caricature along with 11 others, have been the target of several foiled terrorist plots.
The cartoonist took ill this summer while on holiday on the Baltic Sea island Bornholm and has been in and out of hospital, Lykkegaard told dpa.
Westergaard, who is at home now, came down with double pneumonia and suffered complications.
For a time he was unable to walk without a walking frame but has now reverted to using his old cane, Lykkegaard added.
There were no current plans for a new promotional tour, Lykkegaard said, saying that Westergaard was "too weak" and did not have the strength for any longer trips.
"His spirit is good but the body is not," Lykkegaard said.