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In 2007, a series of drawings by Swedish artist Lars Vilks depicted Muhammad as a dog. A newspaper published one of the drawings to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of religion, leading to condemnations by Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and other Muslim countries.

In 2005, a Danish newspaper’s publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries. Protesters burned embassies and churches; at least 200 died. The cartoonist survived a murder attempt. In 2008, a bomb exploded outside the Danish Embassy in Pakistan killed eight people. Al Qaeda said it was revenge for the “insulting” drawings.

Muhammad appeared in an episode of the animated comedy show “South Park” in 2001, but his image was later removed from other episodes owing to the controversies about cartoons in the European newspapers.

In 1999, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel published a picture of Muhammad with other “moral apostles.” The magazine became the target of protests and threats.

In 1988, author Salman Rushdie published his novel “The Satanic Verses,” based in part on the life of Muhammad. Some Muslims considered it blasphemy, and a fatwa was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then supreme leader of Iran, in 1989 calling for Mr. Rushdie’s death.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.