Westergaard fell asleep quietly after a long illness. He leaves behind a wife and five children, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was behind the most controversial of the so-called Muhammad caricatures, which showed the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. He delivered it to the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in the autumn of 2005. Several months later, the cartoons triggered a violent reaction in the Muslim world.
Several Norwegian newspapers also printed the Muhammad cartoons, and the case became one of the biggest foreign policy crises in both Danish and Norwegian history. Among other things, both countries’ embassies in Damascus in Syria were stormed and burned down by angry crowds.
In the aftermath of the fight, Westergaard was subjected to death threats and had to have police protection. In 2008, three people were arrested for planning to kill him, and in 2010 he was subjected to attempted murder in his home in Viby when a 28-year-old Somali broke into the home with an ax and knife. The man was later sentenced to ten years in prison.
– I would like to be remembered as the one who struck a blow for freedom of expression. But there is no doubt that there are some who will instead remember me as a satan who insulted the religion of a billion people , stated Westergaard according to Berlingske.