His comments at an Istanbul conference on Monday fell short of the outright apology which Turkish officials had hoped for.
“I was deeply distressed that the cartoons were seen by many Muslims as an attempt by Denmark to mark and insult or behave disrespectfully toward Islam or the Prophet Mohammad. Nothing could be further from my mind,” he said
“I respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions as well as its religious symbols,” he said during a panel discussion at the conference aimed at building bridges between the Muslim world and the West.
Realpolitik turnaround? Craven appeasement?
Rasmussen previously defended publication of the cartoons, which caused protests in the Muslim world, on the grounds of free speech and refused to apologize to Muslim countries.
While you can, you can purchase a limited-edition print of the turban bomb cartoon: Gates of Vienna has the details,
In collaboration with the artist, the Free Press Society in Denmark and the International Free Press Society have printed up a limited edition of 1000 copies.
Each copy is individually numbered and signed by Kurt Westergaard.
The picture is printed in durable colors on fine paper 42 by 21.5 centimeters, suitable for framing. It will be delivered in a solid cardboard tube.
It can be yours for US $250, postage and handing included, but exclusive of customs dues or VAT where applicable.
The proceeds from this offer will go towards the International Free Press Society’s continuous campaign for free speech.
It can be purchased at the International Free Press Society page.