Denmark's immigration minister stirs controversy for sharing Muhammad cartoon on Facebook

(Reuters/Mathias Loevgreen Bojesen/Scanpix/File Photo)FILE PHOTO: Denmark's Minister of Immigration and Integration Inger Stojberg listens to the debate in the Danish Parliament, January 26, 2016.

Denmark's immigration minister drew controversy after she posted a screenshot of her iPad on Facebook featuring a satirical drawing of the Islamic prophet Muhammad that sparked riots across the Muslim world more than a decade ago.

Inger Stojberg, Denmark's minister for immigration and integration, posted the controversial cartoon on Tuesday in response to a Danish museum's decision not to include the drawing in a new exhibition about blasphemy since the Reformation, Reuters reported.

"It is the museum's own choice and they have their full right to do it, but I think it's a shame," Stojberg wrote in her Facebook post, referring to the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg.

The drawing, made by cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, depicts a bearded Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban.

Stojberg said that she used the cartoon as a background screen on her iPad because it reminds her that Denmark is a country that has freedom of speech.

"I personally have Kurt Westergaard's famous drawing as the background photo on my iPad. I have it because I love Denmark. I simply love the principle of freedom that the generations that came before us have created and that our country is built upon," she added.

Some have criticized the Danish minister for posting the cartoon, particularly as visual representations of Muhammad are considered blasphemous by some Muslims.

One person accused Stojberg of "creating divisions," while others are "trying to create more unity." Another person said that the post had nothing to do with free speech, and contended that Stojberg was only "looking for conflict, trouble, and discord between people in Denmark."

Stojberg, who is known for her hard line on immigration, has been involved in several controversies in the past.

In March, she sparked outrage when she urged Danish citizens to report "weird" situations, using the example of a local pizzeria where "many people going around in there not speaking Danish at all."

Stojberg also enraged left-leaning Danes in May when she posted a picture of herself posing with a cake that was made especially to celebrate the tightening of the Scandinavian nation's immigration laws.

The cartoon was one of 12 caricatures of Muhammad that were published by Jyllands-Posten newspaper that led to attacks on three of Denmark's embassies in the Middle East in 2006. At least 50 people were killed in the riots, sparking a debate in the West around free speech, self-censorship, and violence in Islam.

Westergaard now lives under police protection while Jyllands-Posten has tightened its security measures following foiled terror attempts.

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