Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Publishers of Mohammed cartoons acquitted; Arabs slam decision

With this court ruling, are we seeing an end to this issue? I doubt it.

DENMARK: Publishers of blasphemous cartoons acquitted
Court rules that cartoons not intended to make fun of Muslim community

Friday, October 27, 2006

Copenhagen --- A Danish court on Thursday acquitted the bosses of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper who had been sued by Muslim groups for printing 12 cartoons of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) in September last year.

The judge at Aarhus district court ruled the cartoons were neither offensive nor were they intended to denigrate Muslims, according to court papers.

"Even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking, the cartoons are not offensive," the court said.

Seven Danish Muslim groups launched legal proceedings in March against Jyllands-Posten's editor, Carsten Juste, and cultural affairs editor Flemming Rose.

They accused the paper of publishing text and cartoons which were 'offensive and insulting' to the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him).

Read more here.

Here's one report on the reaction of the Muslim community to the decision. One Muslim legislator in West Asia described the Danish verdict as an example of Islamophobia.

DENMARK: Arabs slam Danish court over decision on Prophet cartoons

Critics say decision to exonerate newspaper will only 'widen the gap between the Western and Islamic world'
Taipei Times

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Arabs on Thursday criticized a Danish court's decision to exonerate the newspaper that published the Prophet Mohammed cartoons which provoked riots across the Muslim world. Arab politicians and intellectuals said the verdict would widen the gap between Westerners and Muslims, but said mass protests were unlikely.

A court in Aarhus, Denmark, threw out a defamation suit filed by seven local Muslim groups who accused the Jyllands-Posten newspaper of publishing 12 drawings of the Prophet in order to insult him and make fun of Islam.

When the cartoons, first published in September last year, were reprinted in European newspapers in January and February, they sparked mass protests, several of which turned violent.

"This [verdict] will only widen the gap between the Western and Islamic world," said Syrian legislator Mohammed Habash, who heads the Islamic Studies Center in Damascus.

Habash said the cartoons constituted an insult to Muslims.

"The Western mentality still sees in such things a facet of freedom that should be defended. This reflects arrogance because they want to impose their way of thinking on all other nations," he added.

The court conceded that some Muslims had found the drawings offensive, but it found there was no basis to assume that "the purpose of the drawings was to present opinions that can belittle Muslims."

Jyllands-Posten's editor in chief hailed the decision as a victory for freedom of speech. The Danish Muslims who filed the suit said they would appeal.

In Jordan, where two editors were jailed for publishing the cartoons, an Islamist legislator alleged the Danish verdict was an example of Islamophobia.

Read more here.

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