The 12 cartoons depicting prophet Mohammed that you can see to the right were published on September 30, 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. They were created by different artists as a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark. As a consequence, violent protests spread in many Muslim countries, because they consider the depiction of the prophet a blasphemy.
You can read the full story in this article: Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
Fundamentalists of Islam support the idea that any depictions of Mohammed (also spelled Muhammad) must be forbidden, but in fact such depictions had not been prohibited until the 16th or 17th century and they are never condemned in the Koran.
To help cure this taboo about the prophet of Islam, we have compiled some representations of him, ranging from historical illustrations to artistic, comic and satirical depictions. They are roughly ordered in chronological order and the text that supplements each image is not based on religious beliefs of any kind.
A lot of information and images found on this page can also be found in a more complete collection called the Mohammed Image Archive.
Fragment of an Ottoman miniature painting showing Mohammed at the Kaaba in Mecca. Early depictions traditionally veiled his face to prevent idolatry. Today, radical Islam followers believe that any images of the prophet are ofensive and should be prohibited.
Mohammed preaching his final sermon to his earliest converts, on Mount Ararat near Mecca. It appears on a 17th century Ottoman copy of an early 14th century (Ilkhanate period) manuscript of Northwestern Iran or northern Iraq.
Mohammed greeting ambassadors from Medina. Another miniature painting, likely of central Asian origin.
Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book titled "Compendium of Chronicles", published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D.
Persian manuscript miniature painting from approximately 1315 illustrating the episode of the Black Stone.
Another painting from a Persian book dated in the beginning of the 14th century. The full image shows an angel presenting Mohammed and his companions with a miniature city.
Caricature of Mohammed, in the margin of a latin translation of the Qur'an. It was drawn in a medieval manuscript from 1162, today kept in the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, in Paris.
This medieval drawing of Mohammed showing his entrails to Dante and Virgil is from one of the earliest surviving illustrated manuscripts of Dante's Inferno, dating from the 3rd quarter of the 14th century.
Mohammed Cursing the Vines - This German woodcut print, c. 1481. shows Mohammed, dressed in Renaissance-era German clothes, cursing the vines for producing the grapes that got him drunk (an invented tale based on the prohibition of alcohol by Islam).
Portrait of Mohammed from Michel Baudier's book Histoire générale de la religion des turcs (Paris, 1625). It was sold at auction by Sotheby's in 2002. The same image was used on the cover of issue #2195 of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.
This wooden sculpture in the Church of Our Dear Lady in Dendermonde, Belgium depicts Mohammed on the ground, clutching the Koran, being trampled on by angels. It represents the triumph of Christianity over Islam and it was carved in the 17th century by Mattheus van Beveren.
This gravure of Mohammed can be found in Alexander Ross's Pahsebeia, or A View of all Religions in the World, a book from 1683. It should be noted that these clothes were not known in the Arabic peninsula during that period and thus the image is not correct.
This color drawing of Mohammed in anachronistic 17th or 18th-century garb comes from the 1719 German edition of the book Description de l'Univers, by Alain Manesson Mallet (first published in Paris in 1683). The caption of this image says, in German, "The False Prophet Mahomet".
This mezzotint print by German artist Johan-Jacob Haid was made in the mid-1700s, and is almost certainly a portrait of Mohammed.
This Russian painting from 1840-1850 shows prophet Muhammad preaching. The artist is Grigory Gagarin.
This depiction of Muhammad appears on the frontispiece for the 1900 reprint of the book The Life of Mohammed, by an author coincidentally named George Bush.
This drawing, entitled "Christus oder Muhammed" was made in 1904 by German artist Sascha Schneider. It was used as the cover of the adventure novel "Orangen und Datteln" by Karl May.
The cover of the 1911 Danish biography called Profeten Muhammed written by Johannes Østrup shows this beautiful image of Mohammed riding on a stylized flying horse.
The origin of this embelished portrait of mohammed is unknown to this writer.
This is one of hundreds of tobacco card illustrations that were included in packs of Odgen's cigarettes in the first decades of the 20th century. It belongs to the series Leaders of Men from 1924.
On August 18, 1925, the British newspaper The Star published a cartoon by illustrator David Low showing cricket sports hero Jack Hobbs towering over other historical figures, including Mohammed (spelled the old-fashioned way, "Mahomet," on his pedestal).
This 1928 German advertisement for meat extract shows Gabriel guiding Mohammed on a flying horse up to Allah.
Mohammed's Flight from Mecca in 622 AD; Algerian color postcard from the 1920s or '30s. Mohammed is the figure entering the cave.
This 20th-century painting from a Shriners' Hall in Maine shows Mohammed receiving a vision.
"Mohammed on Mount Hira" (1925) and "Mohammed the Prophet" (1932), two paintings by Russian symbolist painter and Theosophist Nicholas Roerich.
This beautiful lithograph of Mohammed belongs to a Spanish edition of the Koran from 1932.
One of the illustrations that Salvador Dalí painted in watercolor between 1951 and 1960 for Dante's "The Divine Comedy". This is the same scene from the Inferno that was shown before, but here Dalí imprints his surrealistic style.
A charcoal and pastel sketch of Mohammed signed and dated in 1971, probably used as a book illustration.
The television cartoon South Park aired an episode on July 4, 2001 called Super Best Friends. In it, the founders of the world's great religions, including Mohammed, team up for super-hero action.
This painting titled "Profeta" may be a contemporary western artist's depiction of prophet Mohammed (or Mahoma, as he is called is Spanish). This and other works by the same artist can be seen in this gallery.
In the summer of 2007, artist Lars Vilks made some drawings of Mohammed as a roundabout dog; after they were rejected by two art galleries, one of the drawings ended up in a local Swedish newspaper. You can read more about this story in Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy.
Iranian born artist Sooreh Hera´s work Adam & Ewald was rejected by The city museum of The Hague in 2007. This work tries to expose the hypocrisy regarding homosexuality and Islam. For this, the artist portrayed two gay models wearing masks of Muhammed and his son-in-law Ali.
Artist Irena Mandich painted this portrait of Mohammed crying about the violent Muslim response to the controversy.
This modern drawing of Mohammed was used in public school instructional materials in Spain.
This contemporary drawing of Mohammed is a thoughtful attempt to show what he might have actually looked like in real life, based on scholarly research into the earliest known descriptions of him, and into the type of clothing worn in Arabia during his lifetime.
This realistic depiction of Mohammed can be found in a Spanish-language educational web site. Another image of Mohammed for children to colorize is also available on the same site.
This is the cover of a comic book called Mohammed's Believe It or Else! by pseudonymous artist Abdullah Aziz. The book covers many aspects of Mohammed's biography in a satirical way.
The French publication Charlie Hebdo ran in 2002 this panel by Cabu. In it Mohammed chooses "the Beauty of Fontenay" in "Miss Sack-of-Potatoes" beauty contest. "Belle-de-Fontenay" is a type of French potato and Geneviève de Fontenay is the host of the real Miss France competition.
A Dutch Web site called Pret Met Mohammed (loosely translated as "Fun With Mohammed") features a series of politically incorrect cartoons. This one, translated from Dutch, is an example.
Some Danish imams spread the 12 cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten along with 3 crude caricatures (this is one of them) that they decided to untruthfully pass as Danish. They presented all 15 as "evidence" of what non-Muslim Danes thought of Muslims.
Cox and Forkum snuck a Mohammed picture into this brilliant cartoon about the controversy with the Danish caricatures.
Islam the Tolerant - Filibuster cartoons featured this comic that pointedly exposed the hypocrisy of the Islamic response.
Million dollar bounty - When the Taliban offered a reward to anyone who killed the offending cartoonists, "Normal Bob Smith" created this interpretation of someone taking advantage of their offer.
On February 3, 2006 Le Monde published this cartoon by artist Plantu on its front page -- a drawing of Mohammed composed of sentences that say "I must not draw Mohammed."
This cartoon feminizes Mohammed while mocking the Islamic prohibition on depicting his face, by showing him wearing a woman's veil. The caption says "The Muslim religion forbids the representation of Mohammed".
Charlie Hebdo, a French humor weekly, published an issue devoted to Mohammed on February 2006 which sparked anger in France's Muslim community. A trial against the publication was won by Charlie Hebdo a year later. On the cover Mohammed is saying, "It's hard to be loved by idiots."
The Humanist site Freethunk features this cartoon of Mohammed declaring his own reflection to be blasphemous; the page also features other Mohammed cartoons and clip-art images.
A British teacher in Sudan was incarcerated in November 2007 because she let her 7-year-old pupils innocently call Mohammed a teddy bear. This image is one of the many that appeared to poke fun on this ridiculous act of the murderous Sudanese regime.
The Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen ran this cartoon on June 3, 2008 as a commentary on the continuing violence in the Muslim world over the Mohammed cartoons. The text on his chest translates as: "I am Muhammed and nobody dares to draw me".
This blogger's blog was apparently banned in France for this cartoon showing Mohammed in prison. The text reads: "Let me out! I am Mahomet, the prophet of Islam! - No sir! Under the French Law you are a child molester, a pillager and an assassin - If the Koran had been written last week...".
This deceptive landscape appears to show Mohammed in the desert having visions of the erotic Islamic afterlife -- but the desert is a woman's body, the crescent moon is her belly-button, his turban is her pubic hair, and he's emerging from her vagina.
A fake Lego package showing Mohammed in a sexual position, commenting on the marriage arrangement of Mohammed with 6-year old Aisha, consumated when she was 9. Obviously, the Danish toymaker had nothing to do with this montage.
The same reference to young Aisha can be found in this false DVD cover of a supposed lost episode of a famous TV series (the title of the real series is "Married with Children").
One can only wonder if this Lego figure identified as "Mohammed" will be considered blasphemous by the radicals of Islam...