Sunday, February 05, 2006

Morocco opens inquiry into newspaper that published Prophet cartoon.

"To have a debate about pornography you don't have to publish pornographic pictures. To have a debate about capital punishment you don't have to publish pictures of people swinging from the gallows. You can have a sensible discussion around this without publishing the images."

- The Sydney Morning Herald editor Alan Oakley

It is truly sad, though not unpredictable, the way this entire sorry mess has spiraled out of control. Some of the language being used in the world press and in the blogosphere is almost as damaging as the original publication of the cartoons. "A clash of civilisations." Not very civilised, in my mind to publish cartoons that will inflame already tense Islamic sensibilities. "A war of ideologies" - possibly true, but a "war"?

The scenes of embassy burnings and calls for beheadings are playing right into the hands of the Islamophobes who want to create as much friction from the situation as possible. At the moment the Islamaphobes have gathered a lot of support from the Islamic reaction. Calm heads are needed. Dialogue and connection are what is needed now, not more provocation.

Some bloggers are calling for calm, others for retribution and a great number are pushing the images as hard as they can. Spammers are into the act, posting links to sites offering readers the chance "to draw your own cartoon of the Prophet".

While some governments are playing the issue for their own domestic purposes, there are others reacting in a more responsible way - thankfully the Moroccan government is one of them.

Moroccan prosecutors have opened an inquiry into the country's only newspaper to have published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, according to judicial sources.

The editor of Arab-language newspaper Annahar al Maghribia said that he was summoned on Saturday to police headquarters, along with another journalist from the daily, concerning the cartoon. Editor Abdelhakim Badiaa published a small cartoon of Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban on an inside page of his independent newspaper on Thursday. The drawing was used to illustrate the controversy sparked by the cartoons, which were first published in a Danish newspaper in September, and were not intended as an insult to the prophet, the editor said.

The newspaper criticised the controversial pictures when they were published in Denmark and printed two of them in October without any reaction from Moroccan authorities, Badiaa noted.

"I wonder why the police waited so long to summon me about the cartoons," he said. Badiaa said the Moroccan government and ulemas were reacting only now because of the uproar in other Middle Eastern countries and the United States over the issue.

The High Council of Ulemas of Morocco last Tuesday criticised the publication of the cartoons in European newspapers, saying they offended Muslim feelings. Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou also denounced the drawings during a government meeting on Thursday.

Morocco has banned the sale of European newspapers in which the pictures have been published. The drawings, which first appeared in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper and were reprinted in Norway, France and other European countries, have sparked a wave of anger in Muslim countries, where flags have been burned, ambassadors recalled, European products boycotted and Scandinavians threatened with violence.

"Annahar al Maghribia has damaged the sacred values of Islam," a government official said Saturday on condition of anonymity.



hujaina said...

was that a moroccan who published the cartoons??

Anonymous said...

Salam... Yes.The editor of Arab-language newspaper Annahar al Maghribia.

hujaina said...

oh ya allah how could she??
is she not hearing what happens??
does she think her miserable self in the laic france??

Anonymous said...

everybody knows what pornography the situation is different, because you really needed to see the cartoon in order to comment on them. But this is so so self-evident that the Sidney man shows is real dumbness. By the way, Australia is one of raciest countries in the world. When they write those things, does not come to your mind they just want to avoid conflict and wash their consciousness? remind what they did with the boat of refugees from Afghanistan. those are people, not cartoons..
anyway, fortunately tehre is the internet so that I can decide myself what to see and not to see.

greetings from the laicist world

Al Capone said...

It's another example for a fundamental difference between Europe and the islamic countries. The christian church would like to act the same way but it can't any longer because since the 17th century we have a strict separation between religion and society. As long as the islamic countries don't have the same this kind of fuzz will go on and on. And by the way: Of course the cartoons aren't very funny and of course they hurt religious feelings. But more important is the right to express freely your opinion instead of burning down embassies.