Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cartoon Censorship in Yemen

A few days ago, a newspaper editor in Yemen was sentenced to prison for republishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. This BBC report offers the details:

A court in Yemen has sentenced a newspaper editor to a year in jail for reprinting Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The court also ordered the independent weekly newspaper which carried the cartoons to be closed for six months.

The editor, Kamal al-Aalafi, said he had reprinted the cartoons to raise awareness, not to insult Muslims.

The cartoons sparked violent protests around the world after Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published them in 2005.

Mr al-Aalafi has been released on bail and will appeal the sentence.

The editors of two other Yemeni publications face similar charges.

Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits images of Muhammad and other major religious figures. At least one of the cartoons portrayed Muhammad as a terrorist.

Michelle Malkin has additional information on this case. In the meantime, I have to take issue with one item from the BBC article: "Islamic tradition" is much more ambiguous on the question of depicting the Prophet Mohammed than the last paragraph acknowledges. That this prohibition on images is now the prevailing interpretation in much of the Muslim world is due to the relatively recent spread of Wahhabism, Salafism, and other intolerant variants of Islam. Having morphed into the totalitarian political ideology of Islamism, these movements seek to suppress free expression not only among Muslims but in western societies as well.


Blogger Norma said...

Sort of different but maybe the same as the mayor of Chicago banishing baby Jesus from the Christmas bash. Or maybe that is the Christmas bash.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Dave, can I have your assistance in some research I am conducting for a term paper? The hypothesis I am examining is that the Internet sites promoting fear and/or hatred of Arabs and Islam in the majority of cases turn out to be Jewish-run.

What makes the question particularly interesting, at least to me, is that the results seem to bridge the liberal/conservative divide. The "Islamo-fascist" theme that I am investigating is being promoted by spokesmen across the political spectrum (from Bernard Lewis and Thomas Friedman on the left to Daniel Pipes and Charles Krauthammer on the right). The only thing these people have in common is their support for Zionism.

Of course the name Durant seems to contradict the thesis. But on the other hand I also find what seems to be confirming evidence: five of the last seven posts here concern either Islam or Israel.

So if Mr. Durant does not consider it too personal, I wonder if he would tell me whether he identifies himself as Jewish? This would enable me accurately tally this site in my study. I would be happy to share my statistical findings to date, if he is interested. Once I have gathered the data, in the next stage I hope to begin exploring the question of motivation.

(If you are a Rapturist, I apologize. I recognize that this is a possibility, but I have found that this group, while much discussed, has actually a very tiny presence on the Internet, particularly when compared to Jewish Zionists.)

2:45 PM  

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