Tuesday, February 06, 2007

French Muslims Sue Over Cartoons

From the BBC:
Two French Muslim organisations are suing the magazine Charlie Hebdo for printing cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.
The Muslim groups charge the magazine with "insulting a group of people on the basis of religion".
Charlie Hebdo reprinted Danish cartoons that provoked a violent backlash in the Muslim world a year ago.
Supporters of the magazine, including some French Muslims, say the trial is a test case for free speech. Read More
In January, a British Muslim was found guilty of soliciting murder during a London rally against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad. Umran Javed, 27, of Birmingham, was also convicted of stirring up racial hatred. He told a crowd of hundreds at the February 2006 protest: "Bomb, bomb Denmark, bomb, bomb USA."

In December 2006, Yemen Observer editor Muhammad Assadi was fined for reprinting controversial cartoons. Mr Assadi said he wanted to show Yemenis how insulting they were. The cartoons were printed in thumbnail sizes and overlaid with a large "X".

Another Yemeni editor, Kamal al-Aalafi, who had been sentenced to a year in jail in November for reprinting the cartoons, has been released on bail and plans to appeal against the sentence. His weekly paper, al-Rai al-Aam, was ordered to be closed for six months.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has pledged to overturn any jail sentences handed to journalists.