Three men were arrested for planning to murder 73-year-old Kurt Westergaard [EPA]
 
Danish newspapers have reprinted one of the 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad that caused global Muslim outrage two years ago, to protest against an alleged plot to murder one of the cartoonists.
 
Muslims in Denmark said that the reprinting of the image of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, with a lit fuse, would only stoke anger.
A Danish citizen of Moroccan descent and two Tunisians were arrested on Tuesday as suspects in a plan to kill 73-year-old Kurt Westergaard, a cartoonist at Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that originally published the drawings in September 2005.
 
Offensive
 
Five major daily newspapers, 10 smaller papers and a Swedish daily reprinted Westergaard's cartoon, the one that had caused the greatest controversy before.
 
Most Muslims consider any depiction of the prophet as offensive.

Imam Mostafa Chendid, a leading Danish Muslim, said: "We believe this is very foolish and does not help building the bridges we need."

Chendid, an imam at the Islamic Faith Community (IFC), which lost a defamation lawsuit against Jyllands-Posten in 2006, condemned all violence, but said it would be difficult to absorb the anger young Danish Muslims might feel.

He said: "It will make our young people feel more isolated. The printing of the cartoon is an insult to our intellectual capacity.

"We are not against freedom of speech, but we are opposed to continued discrimination of the Muslim minority in Denmark."

Kasem Ahmad, also from the IFC, said on Wednesday that printing the cartoons "was like a knife in our hearts".

He said that the group had exhausted all legal means to stop the cartoons from being published.

"We cannot do more. Now we have decided to neglect and ignore any possible provocation," he said.

'Unconditional solidarity'

Three Danish embassies were attacked and at least 50 people were killed in rioting in 2006 in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Several young Muslims have since been convicted in Denmark of planning bomb attacks, partly in protest at the cartoons.
 
Denmark's Security and Intelligence Service said Tuesday's arrests near Aarhus in western Denmark were made after lengthy surveillance to prevent a murder that was in an early stage of planning.

Danish media said the man of Moroccan descent had been released but faced preliminary charges while the two Tunisians would face deportation later this week.

An editorial in left-leaning Politiken called the murder plot an attack on Denmark's democratic culture.

"Regardless of whether Jyllands-Posten at the time used freedom of speech unwisely and with damaging consequences, the paper deserves unconditional solidarity when it is threatened with terror," it said.