Aarhus: Cartoonist's wife fired... and reinstated

Pressure from worried parents almost cost the wife of Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, her job at a kindergarten

Threats against the cartoonist responsible for the controversial Mohammed illustration, led to an attempt by parents to have his wife suspended from her job as a kindergarten teacher.

However the suspension was short-lived as a city councillor intervened and overturned the decision.

Gitte Westergaard, the cartoonist's wife, was told Wednesday night not to come to work the next day, at a kindergarten in the town of Århus.

According to a council spokesperson, the move had resulted from increasing pressure from worried parents.

'I am angry, disappointed and saddened. The threats have been directed towards my husband,' Westergaard said. 'I have not been in any danger.'

During the height of the cartoon crisis in 2006, Westergaard had worked in a different kindergarten and had agreed with the management to continue working, despite her husband, Kurt Westergaard, receiving death threats.

'I understand that some parents may be worried, but I would never go to work if I knew or suspected that the children or my colleagues were in danger,' she said.

Louise Gade, city alderman in Århus, who disagreed with the decision, was told after the decision was made and after Gitte Westergaard had been informed.

Gade reacted by making sure this morning that Westergaard would be reinstated, and said city council had consulted with PET, the domestic intelligence agency, that confirmed there was no threat concerning Gitte Westergaard.

Source: Copenhagen Post (English)

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